ARTIST STATEMENT: Rosemary Taylor
My current body of work is a series of mixed media paintings composed variably in oil paint, spray paint, ink and graphite. A strongly process-based artist, the urgency of the physical act of creation is primary to my practice. Evident visceral depth and psychological weight saturate one canvas to the next, my signature language of cryptic symbols and curious marks gains momentum as one work bleeds into another. Working in various sizes - on paper, panel, and canvas or at times, directly on the wall - for my site-specific paintings created in situ, the work takes on even more dynamic proportions. These expansive revelations on and off canvas offer layered experiences of color and form. Rhythmic abstraction, occasional use of mix media collage and the raw appeal of language (visible or obscured) keeps pace alongside obfuscated body parts; with genitals, eyes, mouths and hands returning as a reoccurring motif throughout my series. Preliminary small works on paper, drawings, sketches and photos of my urban landscape often seed the larger visual narratives at hand. Photos of architectural and industrial surfaces – painted or faded old metal or stone, constructions sites, graffiti, abandoned storefronts and other urban industrial structures are one consistent thematic within my visual repertoire.
Driven by long, heavy strokes and fierce gestural marks, my unique visual language mediates a catharsis bound to the body. Within the potency of my physical gestures – often driven by experiences of violence, violation and the struggle for power in society – springs forth the visual enigma of female subjectivity. In these images I find space to reflect and rest, to map out the reality of my lived experience. Often drawing from personal memory and history, I paint in the spirit of great makers such as Basquiat, Joan Mitchell, Joan Snyder and Elizabeth Murray, to name but a few. My marks on canvas - variably loose, tense, long, short, urgent and delicate – tether to my working class background, that which ultimately drives my personal need to “labor” over my paintings. Over time, as I’ve observed the work shift from a more figurative to abstract register, I’ve felt present in my creative rhythm a cycle of obscuring and revealing. Whether approximations of text, form, void space or color in motion – the images emerge as easily as they recoil.