|CDUNBRACK.COM / paintings and installations by Christopher Dunbrack|
The underlying effort in these paintings/installations is to build upon illusionary as well as actual "texture" within the artworks. I am building a world of confined space but, while confined, I force the paint to exist in the same space as our bodies occupy. This may be a paradox but I feel this tension brings these works to life.
The paintings can be seen as a piece from a larger environment and in turn the installations become a portion of a much larger world... and so on.
In the paintings this tension between actual texture and an illusionary texture can be explained as two things happening at the same time.
First: the paintings become a view into another dimension of space that is separate from the viewer. The paintings can be seen perhaps as a realm that resides inside the surface. They flex from foreground to background and then back again, perhaps referencing landscape. Any one of these paintings can be perceived as a view looking down through the layers of a gaseous planet, things move forward and things recede only to be replaced by other forms as we gaze inward. (" Doin' the Dizzle").
Second: the paints and the armatures fight to be recognized as objects unto themselves. They are in the room with us, the viewers. The surface has a measurable depth whether from 10 feet away or 10 inches. In the paintings, the paint itself ("Gin and Tonic Beebop") sits on top of the surface and has actual substance that can be measured by the naked eye. Areas of paint and color stand up and take notice of the room they are in.
In other words the paintings all incorporate, to varying degrees, the two elements mentioned above and result in a high regard to the room (any three demensional space) they are hanging in while additionally becoming views through a window into another world.
For another example of these two realms, think of a well executed back drop scenery in a play where the actors, through the suspension of disbelief, seem to move inside this world. Clearly the back drop is not part of their world yet they move to and fro in front of it and, through their choreography, making it part of their world. If we, as an audience, were bold enough we could reach out and touch the actors, indeed we could touch and feel the back drop itself. Some of my marks are the actors and some marks are the back drop but all is physically there in all three dimensions. Just as we would find should we choose to terminate our passive participation as an audience in the play. My work endeavors to encapsulate all elements as a part of the whole final piece: the stage set, the actors and the audience.
In the case of the installations what is taking place is the inverse of the paintings. The objects and angles bring a viewer to an immediate realization that they are in a unique environment, but through a slightly different use of marks and color, the colors and angles maintain the feeling of being incredibly flat. In other words, the viewer is now inside the world of the painting but has no view out (Kalimtxo).
Through pictoral illusion and physical layering of paint, the paintings and installations both convey a sense of structure, mass, and depth, which results in the experience of paint as both a viewing device and an element equal to the viewer.