Robert Solomon
Artist Statement

My artistic painting practice is rooted in process, materiality, and experimentation, and my paintings often cross the boundaries into (or spring out of) printmaking and photography methods. Over the years, I have found that while my interests and influences remain relatively consistent, it is the means through which my materials (such as but not limited to: water based emulsions, pigment, dye, modified plaster, stain, rope) function – both singularly and together – that keeps my work in a constant state of flux and evolution, which I find to be lively, freeing, and guided by intuition. Materiality guides me consciously, while my interests guide me subconsciously.
              Landscape, architecture, calligraphy, and pattern making are examples of influences which cause my paintings to oscillate between the organic and geometric.  These dichotomies are the most consistent aspects of my work over time, but I don’t pursue them consciously.  Instead, as I work, I experiment with materials both new and old to my process, creating rules which I inevitably break due to the nature of my materials. My recent work is gestural with the barest of preconceived subject matter. The diptych paintings use a format that encourages a heightened awareness of orientation and movement: the right and left sections must somehow be reconciled to my physical handedness. I believe technique is important but a secondary concern to the finished work, much like a director not getting in the way of the narrative, allowing the visual experience to be completed in the mind of the viewer.
I find my statements can vary with each call to express my beliefs in a written form. What is consistent in my work has been a reliance on nature as inspiration for painting. My painting has some elements of landscape, in that, many works have vestiges of foreground, middleground and background. Nature and the desire to see the world through fresh eyes, in the language of paint, has been my guiding principle. By using photos and sketches, I gain entrance to the blank canvas, developing a tension between memory and representation and "abstraction". Thus, my work is grounded in the natural world and should somehow reflect a sense of color and composition analogous to the photograph. I tend to steer away from socio-political content which is best left to other means. If there is any "inner expression" it comes out as sexuality or a desire to merge the masculine-feminine. The work  expresses itself in a style suitable for my uniqueness as an artist erasing labels but incorporating those "isms" that I am comfortable with (expressionism). Technique develops from the quality of pigment and it's medium, from water-fluid to a dense gel. In many ways, I find myself searching for a more abstract language but believing the pinnacle of painting cannot be superceded by contemporary art. What I do find relevant is the discovery or uncovery of turning non-meaning into art. There are precious few artists who can accomplish this feat: a purely visual sensation that defies language.