JOEL LONGENECKER: Artist's Statment

I begin my paintings by building up the surfaces, scraping them down and building them up again. I am interested in how the painting process—applying, drying, scraping and reapplying—parallels the natural processes of growth and decay, buildup and erosion. I work until a specificity of light, space, and color begins to emerge and the painted space becomes as real and as specific as an actual place.

Like a landscape being formed over time, my paintings and drawings are the culmination of the events that have occurred on their surfaces, each with its own unique history and topography. My aim is to create a space/place that is both enveloping and navigable.

I am also interested in the relationship between creation and destruction and how both the creative process and the natural world are dependent upon these two forces. What interests me most is when the two become indistinguishable from one another. I want my work to capture this state of in-betweeness.

What I am after is a kind of transcendence; when the physical properties of pigment and oil melt away and become something else: light, air, mass, space. I work until the paint falls into its destined place and becomes its own corporeal subject. The drama of that experience is my true subject.

photo:  Susan Rabinowitz

photo:  Susan Rabinowitz