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Josh Podoll Text


Are you using spray paint or airbrush to get those blurred spots and lines?
I use an airbrush. It allows for a very light touch (or maybe it is the absence of touch) that one can't get from a spray paint or paintbrush.

Blurry spray paint and hard edge masking; how did they come together?
The other day I overheard someone amusingly describe the masked lines as being a binary code: yes no; on off, Using the two together creates a rupture in the passage of the gaze over the surface. The eye sees one type of space and then abruptly moves into another type. As the mind tries to read the new type of space, there is a little gap or break. This is where the meditation comes in.

What brought about your interest in sculpture?
I wanted to see what it would be like if there were figures or objects within the expansive color fields in the "A Welcome End to Knowing" paintings. So I put these mound shapes and geometric shapes into the actual paintings. It worked, but, as time went by I realized that I needed to see them in 3 dimensions.

Are some of the lines in the sculpture found twigs? Whatever they are, they add an interesting effect. Are you playing with the conflation of drawing and sculpture?
Yes, there are found twigs in many of the pieces. I have a big pile of dried branches and twigs just outside my studio which I comb through to find pieces of various thicknesses and shapes. In the sculpture I like to explore 'the meeting of things'... architecture and nature, line and space, and drawing and sculpture.

Do you find that by using lines with differing qualities the overall consideration becomes more about space/time?
Yes, the eye seems to move at different speeds across different types of forms and lines. A curving, branch-like line may slow the movement of perception whereas a straight, rectangular shape may be taken in more quickly.

Has making sculpture influenced your paintings, or vice versa?
The paintings feel more complete. I let each piece, whether it is a painting or a sculpture, do its own thing.

These new works seem especially quiet, almost whispering, or as one viewer put it, humming. Do you see them as rather still and silent? Have you always been after that quality?
I love hearing that... I have always been after that quality. Not just silence, but with an oscillation or humming.

How did you arrive at a rather noisy palette while maintaining an overall silence or quiet?
This was pretty much always my preferred palette. I've come to see that the colors I use communicate a vivid awakeness that is more like a lucid dream than a waking perception of nature.

Has meditation influenced your work?
I have been meditating much longer than I have been making sculpture or paintings, so it's hard to imagine arriving at them without meditation. What I have noticed is that I am comfortable with the experience of floating in abstraction. Over the last few years it has become harder to distinguish between the experiences of meditating, the act of painting, and the paintings themselves.

What about this sense of things floating, being airborne, hovering?
There is a hovering quality to my work both visually and inwardly. I think this happens when the eye moves between one type of line or space to another. For example, in many of the paintings the blurry shape seems to be simultaneously floating in front of and behind the hard-edged space.

Do you have an interest in graphic design, especially its aquarium like shallow space, and decorativeness?
Yes, I like the almost flat, interlocking spaces in graphic design and decorative patterns.

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