Written by Carly Deblock
The first wooden panel paintings were created in 6th century BC. Over the years, new ideas and concepts have been developed and panel painting has found its place in contemporary art. The wood panel paintings in the past were often created with tempera or encaustic, however EXIST1981 has found an innovative way to create his own form of wooden panel in his solo show titled “Corazon” on display now at Thumbprint Gallery. He creates an assemblage with fragmented pieces of wood that have been covered in layers of striking spray paint. Using these small segments of wood from previous pieces he has painted in spray paint, the wooden panel is transmogrified into a vibrant and contemporary art piece.
Many people would have looked at these wooden pieces as scraps to be tossed aside, but EXIST1981 uses them to create a balanced composition. Although the pieces are small, the size emphasizes the meticulous placing of the contrasting divisions and they create a strong visual impact. They have been repurposed to form four separate artworks that together complete a cohesive series of multimedia art. Powerful contrasting colors catch the viewer’s eye and move them throughout the wooden panel. The layer of wood beneath the fragments is no longer seen and a new panel is constructed. Each of the four pieces is entirely unique and has been created with different shapes, line work, colors, mediums and textures.
This variation between the numerous fragments creates a work that resonates with the viewer. The areas of raw wood, metallic and glossy resin create an important contrast within the piece. Each separate section of the panel is as important as the one next to it. The variety has created assemblage that can be compared to the the solution of solving a jigsaw-puzzle. With such powerful colors and forms, creating a composition is no easy task but EXIST1981 achieves his goal. A perfect square is finally formed, after many attempts to find the correct balance between the pieces. The result is art that is fresh, innovative and balanced. The viewer will find that the fragments make sense together and create a feeling of serenity.
The texture and gloss that unify these pieces is astounding and these pieces are currently on display at Thumbprint Gallery. To see these panels and more of EXIST1981’s artwork visit Thumbprint Gallery on Kline Street in La Jolla. The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm. The show will be on exhibit until January 6.