March 1, 2005

Bart Exposito


My good friend Bart Exposito has just had a show at Black Dragon Society, Roger Herman and Hubert Schmalix's gallery in the heart of Chinatown Los Angeles. Bart sent me a few pics of the show.

I miss being a coffee break away from my friends in ChinaTown! For a while, it was a habit, the rendezvous where the morning paper and the occasional magazine would form the armature for a strong discussion. I'll paint in a closet if I have to to get back into that very urban space again.


I asked Bart to hammer out a few thoughts to accompany this post:

So, the paintings in the show are basically new
paintings that have some connection to a drawing I did
three or so years ago. I started looking at the
drawing again and began to get interested in
elaborating on it. Six months later I had produced
alot of new work based on it. It's strange to visit
the past like that. I used to bury the early work,
but now I find myself wanting to take the early work
and improve it or something like that. I guess it has
to do with some sort of self sufficiency or autonomy
in that the practice is becoming more and more self
referrential. Make sense?

Yea, perfect sense to me. I think that to be an artist is to have your antenna up, alert to the little twitch, the "spidey sense"... paying attention. Not every twitch leads you to the promised land, and sometimes they run dry, and sometimes it leads right to the sweet spot, where you are swinging in territory that is all your own. That's where Bart is.


I think it's interesting that Bart renders these hard edges by hand, without relying on edge hardening assists like tape or the like. Also, he revises on canvas, altering lines, erasing along the way. That's why you see a little wobbliness in the line work, all in the midst of all that straightness.

We share a propensity to make painted forms that react to the edge of the canvas, a nod to the pictorial universe created by the boundaries of the physical painting (as opposed to visual forms that suggest that the formal universe extends outside of the painting, that the painting in this case is a window to another independant visual world. For me, a visual world dependent -and in fact created by the boundaries of the support- flies against an idea of a purely visual and therefore bodiless expression of paint(ing). Not a window, a world.

Posted by Dennis at March 1, 2005 1:34 AM

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