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Bill Komoski TextExhibition 13 May - 19 June 2010

Q&A  05.13.10

.Are these your most complexly layered paintings to date (etc)
These paintings are an extension of ideas I have been pursuing for years. I’m interested in a shifty, unsettled experience, about order and disorder, structures that hold only to a point, where one layer or element is eroded or consumed by another—taking pleasure in the tangle of things. In many of these paintings, especially the larger ones, the level of complexity is definitely increased as I pursue that end.

.The number of references has expanded (etc)
There’s not a list, but a number of motifs have emerged that I employ in various ways. There’s a highly improvisational aspect to the start of each painting. Then I often figure out how to incorporate additional elements. Often, more geometric or organized areas come up against something more fluid, agitated or seemingly disordered. The greater shifts between areas of distinctly different qualities add to the degree of complexity relative to earlier paintings.

.Flat, graphic stars (etc)
 It’s a completely symmetrical, highly organized, reductivist representation of pure light. Light is important to my paintings. But the very graphic star is not a source of light in the paintings. A much more useful graphic element I employ to that end is what I might refer to as a pie-shaped value scale. Through the simplest symmetric ordering of values—black to white—light is provided. They can appear as a solid shield-like element or glowing beam. I like the duality. The star is more useful as a symmetrical element. I’ve used it, doubled, in the center of a couple of paintings. Symmetry also brings in the body, and so the doubled stars could be stand-ins for eyes. (Bootsy Collins.) A number of paintings I’ve done, including the big dark one and the wall painting in this show, are built around symmetrical armatures, creating an ordered balance as a starting point to which the rest of the mess takes off.

.What about the pits (etc)
Well, yes, I’m interested in paintings that reward a certain pleasure in a sustained view. The pits or chambers, as you call them, provide a moment of concrete yet enigmatic architectural clarity embedded in far more transitory surroundings. They perhaps suggest a wormhole or exit, an escape or a way to fall more deeply in.

.In a few instances I find myself considering skin (etc)
The idea of pulse and flow of a circulatory system of moving through a painting is terrific. There are ways to look at these paintings as referring to the body and at times that body’s limits seem under attack or capable of oozing, distending or overflowing. The body is fragile and subject to an inevitable turn toward disorder.

.Since you usually don’t make smallish paintings (etc)
Absolutely. In doing so, I approach each painting as a completely unique entity. As opposed to thinking of them as somehow small versions of big paintings, studies for big paintings or distillations of elements of big paintings. They are fully engaging to make, and stand apart from the big paintings or stand on there own, as it were. Scale is important in all the work. The wall painting provides a whole other level to approach things on an architectural scale. My ability in the small paintings to pursue varied approaches, introduce elements and freely forage is great.

.Temperature has always been one of your (etc)
I make no predictions or promises. I just let the paintings take me where they want to go. I’m really pleased with the expansion of my current means. It affords me lots of areas to move around in. Things have been heating up lately, as you put it, and we’ll see where it leads. Every painting in this show was started the same way, with a drip of paint allowed to meander across the surface of the canvas as I tilted it back and forth. A barely controlled or controllable accident, which provides the armature that I then respond to in various ways. I’m trying to keep the whole trajectory of the work as unpredictable as that starting point.

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