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Martha Hayden
New York, NY
Neighborhood: Red Hook

ARTIST STATEMENT: My painting is both realistic and abstract, it is on that elusive edge between there and not there. On first look everything is in place, then all dissolves. I want realism and abstraction to take turns. I want a painting sometimes very evocative of time and place, sometimes overwhelming in abstract, structural logic. My painting is concerned with spaces. It is analytic in terms of distance and volume, expressive, rhythmical, and fluid in terms of color. It is ordered volume, surprising color. I want a big interior space that draws the viewer in with logic of its own. I try to create excitement while ordering chaos. My painting is also about surface, about color and marks, about thick and thin paint, about using the tools of the craft. In themselves, my subjects are not important. I am concerned with painting as a formal problem. I try to show depth on a flat surface without destroying that surface. I am concerned with the relationship between realism and rendering. I ask questions. Is there such a thing as perspective, or is there another kind of relationship between near and far? These are traditional concerns, but I want nothing static. Every mark, every color, every direction, changes everything done before. I try to make my shapes and color say something in themselves. I look for a surprise, a drama, a different way of seeing. Each painting is a new work. I look for the relatedness of everything, trying not to see anything for itself alone, but as a part of the whole. I try to relate my work to history, to make paintings that are unusual, to push boundaries. In this context, my subjects take on meanings other than the accustomed ones. They are more than still life and landscape; they are comments on thinking and seeing.

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