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Bailys, Lox, & Grapefruit - By Ben Boothby

“My paintings are built entirely from memories of architectural moments. They are mnemonic structures; holding a multitude of conflicting emotions from that place. Memory is a construction: layers of spatial ambiguities and shifting degrees of focus, scattered with representational details. I strive for this visualization of how memory exists, because I feel it shows how our minds actually function, on a cellular and chemical level. Memory is in flux, when we try to pin it down to examine the details, it will not sit still. Gestural splatters and hard-edged abstraction are combined to create a complex visual puzzle. The goal is to capture the pulsation of memory vibrating in self-contradictions. While these paintings are made out of moments from my own narrative, they are left open to each viewer’s personal associations. I hope to engage a viewer’s sense of nostalgia, as well as their curiosity. In order to make sense of the image, they access information from their own spatial memories – that align somehow with parts of the puzzle. Then the painting fulfills its purpose as a visualization of memory. My process starts with rounds of sketching, using only what I can remember about a space from my past. I do not use any external reference to reconstruct that place. The next stage is a 3-point perspective drawing, where the memory meets logic and becomes a concrete structure. This architectural drawing is used on multiple paintings in a series, so that I can investigate various memories of that location – specific to years, seasons, and hours of the day. I paint with acrylic in the early layers, to build up an active ground. These splatters often look like spindle-armed neurons: our brain cells. The looping curves of flung paint represent the chemical pathways our memories are stored in. The architectural drawing is layered into the acrylic layers. Sometimes it is silkscreened onto the painting; otherwise it is drawn or painted using a projection. For the bulk of the painting process I use oil paints to achieve the luminous sensation of light. These layers break up the logic of the architectural drawing. I do not paint with a pre-defined idea of the finished state. The oil layers are where I work out the dynamic imbalance between various polarities. Sometimes that happens quickly, more often it is a longer process. Color choices are based on emotions and objects from different times in the space. My titles refer to smells, or sometimes tactile references.

36.0" x 24.0" x 5.0" 5.0 lbs
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8 ft