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Robert Gould
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Red Hook



ARTIST STATEMENT: My work seeks to create connections and dialog between historical events and contemporary time and space. I work from photographs of battlefields that I have taken & maps that represent a facet of pictorial reality. Over painting changes the relationship of the photographic image to a painted narrative. The altering creates a hybrid image that describes “place” in new a way. The works are based on ink jet prints that become the structural elements or framework that are then altered with painting. The images feature sweeping scenes of vast desolate open spaces that vanish into the distant horizon. I incorporate map like graphic features and label important locations. Once printed on watercolor paper, the over painting process smears & smudges the underlying print. Colors become heightened in un-expedited & un-photographic ways. The paint releases various colors of the die used in the ink jet printing process. The paint texture is thin and allowed to puddle and blotch. Layering paint with soil & iron powder flattens the photographic depth of the original image. Soil creates flat blocks of natural brown tan hue. Iron powder adds rich color details of different shades of reddish rust colors. Sometimes giving the impression of a hand painted postcard. Part Two- I enjoy understanding history and I combined it with my interested in the alchemy of painting. I am attempting to reconcile images of battlefield landscapes with the great human dramas enacted on them. I want to frame, mark, and attribute significance to these places. I am using photography & combining it with painting elements and actual soil. The soil is the vary ground that was fought over and represents a tangible, physical link to a historical place both in time & space. It is from this soil I have created my own pigments. The soil is dried, and ground into a powder. It is then mixed with natural glue that acts as a binder. The glue, when set, allows the soil to strongly adhere to the image and also allow the natural color to be unchanged. The photographs that I am working with are from my collection that I have taken during visits to Civil War battlefields. I photograph places that are vantage points or vistas that capture the monumental movements of both nature and armies. Kind of like maps that illustrate the arraignments of places. I create a panoramic image by standing in one place and moving the camera to capture the horizontal landscape. The images are stitched together using Photoshop software creating a wide horizontal field of view. I then print on watercolor paper using an Epson 1280 ink jet printer. After the images are printed they are mounted on a rigid surface. I work over the image with various water-based media & soil. This creates an interaction between the water-based ink in the print. The printed photographic blacks & grays morph into soft blues & greens with unexpected halo like effects around the edges. Colored gouache mixes with the ink softening the hard edge of the printed image. I enjoy working with this element of randomness, chance and chaos. I combine elements together and see if they can bring unique visual interest to an image. Often the elements under go transformation on the picture surface its self. The picture surface becomes the mixing palette. For example I work a lot with iron powder. It can be made to rust, resulting in many interesting unexpected colors & textures. The result of this process is not under my control and involves a lot of trial and error. It allows me to become an editor controlling the direction of a picture.
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  • Ebenezer Drawings- "Black Water" Creating space
    01-11
    Mixed Media on Paper shopping bag

  • Ebenezer Drawings- "Black Water" Creating space
    01-11
    Mixed Media on Paper shopping bag

  • Bridge over the Huctchinson River
    03-11
    Mixed Media on Paper shopping bag
    Drawing from William Abbatt's 1901 Book "The Battle of Pell's Point"

  • Ring of Rust, Verdun
    01-10
    Rust, pigment on Ink Jet print

  • Defence of Paris
    01-10
    Mixed Media on Paper

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  • Sulfur
    2014
    Oil and Sulfur on panel

  • Battle of Brooklyn Panoramma
    04-11
    Pin Hole camera photograph
    View of the hills that the battle of Brooklyn was fought on in Aug 1776.

  • Thomas Farm Monocacy MD
    02-10
    Earth pigment on ink jet print

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  • Ponkiesberg- CobbleHill
    05-11
    Pigment on ink jet print
    Drawing over a pin-hole camera image of the flag poll at Atlantic Ave and Court Street. The original name for the hill was Ponkiesburg. During the battle of Brooklyn 1776 a American fort was located o

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