Monday, October 4, 2010

Tony Shortway Artist Statement

@Muumuu Heaven, October 9 - November 14

Special reception, Saturday October 9th 4-8pm
Food by TOWN + Libations by OnoPops co-creator Josh Welch

Tony Shortway
Artist Statement
With imagery inspired by friends, family, history and pop culture, I try to evoke a mood of various bygone eras. My philosophy with regard to painting is to reduce a scene to its light and dark rudiments thereby revealing the essence of the subject matter. These latest paintings represent the current evolution of my process.

Light is significant only in relation to darkness. It is this dichotomy, this opposition, which drives my painting style. David Kelly, the contemporary American philosopher wrote: "Bright lights cast dark shadows when shone only from one direction." This high contrast between light and dark allows me to strip an object of any superfluous information.

I deconstruct figures and scenes, analyzing their essential features, those attributes that are the essence of their physical presence and recreate what I believe to be the simplest core of their corporeal being. The scenes I paint allude to an event, some occurrence that may be clear, may be off in the distance, or may merely be a thought the subject I am painting is having at the time. Nevertheless, I strive to capture this mood in every piece I do.

Reflection is a by product of the process of painting on the back of glass. The glass acts as a sort of mirror. When light reflects off of my paintings, they take on an entirely new characteristic by which the setting they are in becomes part of the art. Further, the innate reflective property brings the viewer from a passive role to an active role in the work. One can look at the piece and see the image that I have created, but also see themselves staring back.

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