Valencia Biennale Catalogue: 3rd Bienal de Valencia 2005
without you I'm not
My paintings are large, complex designs that attempt to reflect my sense of the times we are living in, and both how richly interesting they are and how difficult it is for most of us to navigate their uncharted waters. There is a great push and pull, the lure and the repulsion, the fiction and the real, the known and the unknown. And we live in this swirl of delicate gestures, driving desires, fantasy, economic complexity and interdependence, isolation and hope. I am trying to render some notion of this rich fabric.
Infinite fascination with details and dynamic pictorial architecture in combination with frustrated and sublimated desires make for a curious, static combustion in a painting. I attempt to map out these forces in western culture with a sense of their infinitely regenerative power.
And it’s about the viewer – how we interpret and react to what we see, how we are the people in the paintings – and how they are us.
The paintings are not meant to judge or criticize. I am looking closely at who we are, the density of influences upon us, the mistakes we make, and the recognitions that occur in trying to navigate a universe with no sign posts. The figures in my paintings often are seen at a moment where some recognition or self-reflection seems to be taking place. These moments of recognition are metaphors for grappling with the unknown. Perhaps something is missing from their lives and they don’t necessarily know what it is. They are metaphors for the search. My reaction to the figures and their gestures is sympathy, not judgment.
My hope is that ultimately these paintings show fragile, genuine human beings trying to make something of what they are confronted with. Each of them is singular in their individuality—in their hair, their eyes, their lips, their hands—and they are all separately struggling and often finding merely surface solutions and ephemeral escapes to the timeless riddles of consciousness.
Terry Rodgers, July 2005