Wednesday, September 29, 2010

floods, simple updates & an essay in italics.

sept 27th 2010.  bach’s cello suites. rain of astounding force battered Wilmington for 12 hours straight, all through the evening and night until dawn this morning. the day remains grayed, misty, soft. languid.

evening has fallen—nighttime with the black clouds (red and orange on television maps). this is the perfect night for a french press coffee with lots of sugar and some cream and a madura cigar and a seat on the porch. . . . read some old kerouac or miller for kicks and just veg out. a hemingway short story. . . the smoke and the read. ahhhh. but how will the nine miler in the morn feel after a forty minute smoke? and how enjoyable will it really be, once smoke is burning eyes and awkward fit in mouth and just sitting outside in the dark fighting mosquitoes and smoking up money I could use for a new comic or a pair of calve compression sleeves. . . a romantic impulse quickly waning into a self denying monologue.  the internal preacher. 

looking for runs, I found a very welcome addition to 2011’s roster: the run for ray event website is now up and official. it is a marvelous knee grinding, chest scorching, mind-pumping, vision blurring, scenic run that you should drive/ fly/ hitchhike/ trebuchet to get to. . . . seriously.

tuesday. sumatran coffee. kent williams.  seven miles downtown from nam’s home through greenfield park (no dog chases), through front street and some flooding across flat areas. . . no gators. a good run though it started slow and forceful, fitful. pushed through two miles to arrive at a comfortable state, somewhere around an 8 minute mile, and maintained that with some marley. geese are starting to pass through in migration.

September 28th 2010. wednesday. kyote and I watch the rain, for three solid days now it has rained, and the total is approaching now, maybe exceeding, two feet. . . we are considering getting out of the house for a minute, finding something interesting at the library, maybe running by a comic book store or townhouse art supply. . . . tomorrow is a tropical depression watch or warning and the whole of the southeastern nc is in flash flood warnings. meanwhile beethoven’s piano trios (performed by the beaux arts trio) trickles adagio from the studio, and tubes of paint line up by the palette and consider images to come. drawings fill various cheap sketchbooks, free association, automatic drawings mainly with minimum references in mind during the act. but a figure normally emerges. bodies dominate my visual repertoire, the narrative form like a visual biography, touchable kissable music.
essay for bodyfalls show last year:


falling dancer, posing nude.
bodyfalls: a selection of paintings by jay edge.
Caprice Bistro
june ’09.

new images painted on pre-existing images. often the figures are inverted and frequently falling. disoriented. free fall: free. I work with the figure because I love the human experience—my own and others—and a body is the ultimate testimony of one’s history. the body may be a visual chorus of the soul’s song. . . . or the body can be a defiance of the soul perhaps. . . . anyway, the paintings: a recycling and a refreshing of the canvases as now I am a father, husband, artist, man and struggling in an evermore complex fugue of layers. . . . often the pre-existing images are swallowed & lost in new layers—a history of the surface which is process-oriented (personal), rather than visually declared. while obscured, the evidence is subtly presented in underlying brush textures, rhythms of the current composition, and other idea/ image references. these paintings, as all works and persons, are fugues.

it is a human need & instinct to document, preserve and study history (personal history but not excluding collective history). this is often an anonymous and private experience, an unshared meditation. that anonymity, that silence behind the Now. . . . that your path is entirely unknown to others but for its obscure yield of experience-derived knowledge, that your entire life culminates into instincts unconscious dynamics abstract associations consequences and various manifestations. . . . that our scope of existence could lack a depth of history to most we encounter is such a flattening fact of reality. most of us see scars and cars when we see others. . . the private, idiosyncratic and often tragic paths we have each walked but rarely shared.

to bear witness is somehow foreign and absorbed. tedious.

ultimately the current work is derived from a personal transition of declaring—confessing, absolving, redeeming-- my past. a need to preserve. the residual images are artifacts, subjects of an excavation. . . . traces of nostalgia struggling against the daily surrendering to the complex weave of my Life. a turning away. . . the transformation of solipsist Self.


sometimes referencing dance, grace, classic figurative posing, the figures are meant to be as much visual rhythms or visual mass, body bulk. they are not intended to be narrative, but rather moments: culminating nexus of a life. they are a response to the emotional tides of being a father, husband, man, artist. they are often hurried and overworked, then simplified, painted over, repainted. . . . collage has been used to cover large areas, introducing a mass media reference but also serving the functional (newspaper is cheaper than paint).
my creative process is built on study and work. there is much thought as well as action in these paintings (actionable thought). observation of a painting until a solution emerges, which is then executed, often rapidly, from pre-worked studies. frequently, intrepid painting uncovers the solution, an active labor of paint and canvas and image-reference. the idea: research, exhaust, react/ respond. requiem and renaissance; discover and recover. additive and subtractive methods of image creation/ unraveling build interesting textures, documenting the process of image-construction. evidence of early drawings, early paintings, struggles all remain visible and starkly present. evidence to reduce ego while working, to maintain honest searching and identification with a form or pigment.


aesthetic inspirations include rome, nyc, vast numbers of painters and musicians, and finally Wilmington itself. . . . the cracked roads and parking lots, the multitude of parking decks, the gravity of bricks that is downtown wilmington’s architecture, the abstraction of aging and gravity. dilapidation versus renaissance, a process of reclaiming. . . . broken bottles, broken windows, multicolored parking tickets, farmers market. . . . runs down chestnut or princess or fifth or the boardwalk. abandoned storefronts, thrashed up cobblestone, the mires of water street, buildings held upright by jaundice plywood with scrawled cartoons, graffiti in chemical toilets. . . .

also—the dominance of red is related to the idea that red is the first recognizable color of a child’s perception. large areas of color are also meant to stimulate my four month old son, who spends many mornings and afternoons in the studio beside me.

I hope you enjoy the paintings, and thank you for your interest.