Jeremy Rabus


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Artist Statement

Paintings are an optical art form. A vast array of colors, and their infinite combinations, generate visual effects which relate to the eye’s experience of the world, i.e. shadow and light, cool and warm, push and pull. My goal is to question and manipulate these principles of optics within the confines of paint’s materiality. Paint’s purpose is to apply color to a surface, and I explore how its physical properties — opacity, translucence, its runniness or viscous feel — affect that purpose.

Occasionally, an accident occurs, like a stray dribble or a failure to place a perfect curve. These imperfect aspects of painting often present a greater opportunity to advance the piece.

In my most recent work, I apply a hue, often chosen arbitrarily, as an organic shape or taped off geometrically, and then play other colors against it — layering, concealing, accumulating passages and adjusting various combinations until I achieve the “yes” moment. Every successful painting evokes an immediate, visceral reaction. The finished piece must possess a concrete sense of reality, not as a faithful representation of any object, scene or notion, but within the context of a well-contained optical experience, framed by the four edges of the rectangular picture plane. A painting should be tangible, and feel real and present.

Jeremy Rabus’s Website