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                          Revealing and Concealing


     My earliest attempts at making art were from what I copied out of the pages of Mad Magazine.   I never actually studied art until after finished high school and found myself majoring in art in college.  The basics of what I learned about artistic subject matter and materials were important, but it was art history that made the biggest impression. 

     It was through art history that I was introduced to Picasso and the world he invented through Cubism.  Egon Schiele’s figures were steeped with emotion. Max Beckmann painted scenes that were both dramatic and theatrical.  And as to other artists whose line drawing took my breath away, there are too many artists to mention. 

    Over the years, as I searched for my own artistic voice, I absorbed elements of all of these artists’ works and what I discovered was that as opposed to looking at nature and the world around us for inspiration, or outside in, for inspiration, I worked instinctively using my imagination. I tended to work from inside out.  I painted interiors, not literal ones but intuitive ones, and portraits and the figure were my subjects.

    As in Cubism, I often fracture and break apart my images.   Then in the process of reassembling all of the disparate pieces, the distortion that occurs is manifested in the shape of a satisfying -- at least for me and hopefully, the viewers -- dissonance.

    But none of any of this happens in a linear fashion.   Just as some writers continually edit and reedit their work, I, too, have spent not just weeks and months working on some paintings, for example. but years and even decades on the same canvas.    The same is true for some of my works on paper, as well. 

     Ultimately, for me, making art is an exercise in transformation. It is about concealing and revealing ideas. 

     It is the one way I can bring a small sense of order to my own little world. 

© 2023 by Jonathan Franklin    Call 708-415-7129

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