I feed on the stored cultural baggage of intimate domestic space - and research historical ceramics, textiles, and heraldry. Processed by an imagination raised on Disney and coloring books -- this physical stuff of the world encourages me to play my own language games. Educated at a time when historical decorative arts traditions were a zone forbidden by late modernism and my "rigorous" faculty,

I now happily indulge in a sense that the borders between ceramic decoration or textile design -- and painting -- are completely permeable membranes.

Through studying and making ceramic work, faience in Quimper, talavera in Dolores Hidalgo, and maiolica in Deruta, I have had close encounters with artisans from centuries past and their current counterparts. Their exceptional brushwork and iconographic invention inspires a "refictionalizing" in my paintings. I want to converse with codes of taste, the shorthand developed to describe nature, and the idyllic and pastoral slamming against repossessed abstracted power icons. In "Strapaese" - the heraldic wild boar at right meets the "moderne" of formica design at left --- with ghosts of organic abstraction strewn between. In "The Hunt in the Kitchen" I mimic tile work that might surround a sink - where while a potato is peeled - a deer is torn to shreds by dogs. I look to give myself as much permission to raid the attic of the past as I can find. Our stories are told, coded and repeated on objects humble or luxurious - personal and public. Recombinatory strategies feel like magic to me and the dependable vibration of figure/ground never bores me. I want the paintings to exude humor for the present, respect for the past and most of all to tweak curiosity.

 

Oehme Graphics © 2014 | 2655 Copper Ridge Circle, Unit 1 | Steamboat Springs | CO 80487 970-870-6609 info@oehmegraphics.com