This body of work continues the exploration of the spirit of nature.
Moving beyond just landscape and vegetation, the work includes elements of animals and insects. Feathers seem to float or fly across a setting. What is happening just out of view? Are the feathers independent of their owners because of natural molting? An extreme gust of wind? Is it the result of severe or mortal trauma?
Likewise, butterflies are portrayed flying in large hordes, with seeming intent. Inspired by the flight formations of a cloud of bats, which, when leaving their shelter to hunt at night, fly in concert with seeming intent. Do you get the same ominous feeling when the subject is changed to something harmless and light? Additions of fauna change the reference point of the work.
The work also plays with color and—to an extent—the theatrical. The pure landscapes are filled with more saturated color and seem to walk the line between representation and abstraction. Even though the renderings have atmospheric layers they feel familiar, present and of this realm, capturing the essence of nature and our surroundings in a way that feels like an image stored in our mind’s eye.
Other paintings add a theatrical element to the saturated color scheme. Red and blue outlines refer to images not quite in focus. They also impart a familiar feeling of primitive color printing or even 3D effects. Although pure landscapes, the very large paintings also involve a theatrical quality—if only in scale. The painting “The Forest for the Trees” is 9 feet tall, which makes you feel as if you could literally step into it. The painting “Night Fall” is on the scale of a movie screen, which makes it feel as though it’s from some film noir.
A “Mirror Tent” (or Spiegeltent) is a structure made of wood and canvas, capable of being erected in a day. The temporary structure was used to host performances, bands, dances etc. The interior walls were hung with mirrors. The title plays on the interaction between the exhibit itself being the performance and the paintings themselves being the “mirrors” for the viewer.
– Jared Rue