ARTIST STATEMENT: Nelson Levine
My goal, when creating my paintings is a kind of synthesis of many disparate elements loosely distilled into two categories I call “Contrasts” and “Concepts”. In the category of “Contrasts”, one could further departmentalize it into two subcategories. The first of which you could call the lyrical, the poetic, the intuitive, free flowing and boundless. The second subset could be called the analytical, logical, the regimented, mathematical and structured. The lyrical elements would be those often found in the “background” of the paintings, and the structured ones in the “foreground”.
The second category called “Concepts” refers to the concept or story each painting is telling. Usually this is some kind of twist on the traditional figure and ground relationship. Some paintings might use an over abundance of “figures”, some part of which are superior to other objects in the foreground, and some parts hidden by other objects. The result of which is a complex spatial viewing experience. Other works might rely on the “figure” or even the background being cut away revealing the wall or a separate board behind the painting, so that this “figure” in the first case is there visually and not there physically, both at the same time. This, being there and not being there concept is a very exciting idea to base my art on. In the second case where real objects cross over the cut out background, one has the sense that these objects also transform from a painted figure on a ground to an object in real space like a flat painted sculpture. As you track the object across the painting they appear to go back and forth from the painted picture plane to the real world.