Brendan Carroll Artist Statement:
My paintings use a combination of traditional illusion and concrete modernist practices. I combine the concept of window and wall and reimage them as screen, both digital and physical. I imagine my canvas as a computer and window screen. Screens, as device and concept, embody a contemporary paradox: how do we accommodate tradition while forging a new identity? Historically, the canvas has been compared to a window – it created an illusion of a space beyond the wall. More recently, paintings referenced walls themselves, as modernism reveled in flatness and elevated the brush-mark. Today, illusion and materiality vacillate as the preferred methods of experiencing and describing the contemporary condition.
My canvases appear to have been ripped, torn, and glued back together. The final image represents a new whole formed from multiple histories. Breaking from tradition seems an inevitable part of any generation’s attempt to define its identity. Inevitably, any new individuality created from such rebellion is linked to the traditions being rejected. My paintings describe the collision of modernity and tradition. In my paintings, the viewer can focus beyond the surface to see a romantic illusion of deep space and rendered landscape. It is also possible to concentrate entirely on the barriers layered on top of the illusion. These concretized barriers are made of modernist tropes such as abstract gestures; minimalist materiality such as ripped latex rubber and peeling rubber cement; and postmodern commercialism through rendered pop imagery and text.