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102 tiny American paintings.


102 Tiny American Paintings

Luis Coig Reyes
Watercolor
86" Wide x 35" High (2.75" Wide x 3.5" High each)
2006-2007

102 Tiny American Paintings is an investigation into the tendency of the human mind to play and how that activity drives the creative process. Using humor as my primary vehicle, I explore a world of folly and incongruity where every image hints at a strange and slippery insight. Each painting stands on it's own, but when it is combined with the others as a single work, the viewer is compelled to search for a meaningful structure that links them. The mind seeks a narrative, but the imagery is enigmatic and skirts the edge of absurdity. There is no possible final interpretation, although the urge to find one is irresistible. This approach to painting as a game stems from a desire to facilitate engagement in a culture where many are uncertain about how to view or enjoy contemporary art. In a sense, it mocks the idea of art as a grandiose, or mysterious activity.

The work is also a reaction to the pressures that emerging artists experience in today's marketplace. As a long-time resident of the United States, I have become infected with the general vanity of the dreamers and go-getters of this country to create a masterpiece or "Great American Painting". And while I have no shortage of ideas, as an emerging artist, I am faced with the constraints resulting from having to devote a great number of hours to work other than painting in order to make a living. Additionally, there is an expectation on the part of galleries for an artist to be prolific and produce large works that can command a higher price. Within these limitations, my solution to develop a significant collection of ideas was to execute them as miniatures, and then combine them into one sizable piece. But it would be dishonest to say that they would have the same impact presented individually. The paradoxical truth about these little paintings is that they aspire to be the very thing that they belittle.

 

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