Painting


The Masai Triptych

This Surrealist product was an effort in juxtaposing a religious triptych composition with a primitive human subject matter. The diversity of facial expressions represented are individual responses to the question of faith and how it fits into a modern life. The primitive tribal existence appeared suitable as a less distracted means to achieve faith or experience life’s purpose.



Satellite Transmissions

This series is a multi-leveled commentary upon our culture, in which television plays a large part. In-depth descriptions of the works could reflect the colossal subject matter, but it also could downgrade the energy of the series, so I will be concise.

1. Shh. No Talking - Film was the bridge from painting and photographic imaging to television. The title is found in any movie theater, and demands anti-social behavior, which finds its way into our living rooms. The reversal of this image is to invoke alternative viewing and thinking throughout the remainder of the series. Color describes the emulsion reflective and translucent properties of the film medium.
2. Dorothy Discovers - This universal image of Dorothy peering into the new world of Technicolor, a defining moment in film and television history. Window and door views were alterations of context that were adapted for the series. The physical transition is present as Dorothy peeks around the door. Together with Dorothy, we are presented the path of our journey.
3. Those Were The Days - The third painting in the series, is the first image in the television format. A nostalgic universal portrait of political incorrectness. The realistic stylization was chosen to facilitate a rhythmic transition into conflict of upcoming abstractions. Its significance seems magnetic to several later paintings.
4. Oh Dear - This execution moment is representational of our society’s unfulfilled appetite for violence. The slick stylization is reflective of television’s glamorization of such acts, which led to the desensitization of violence upon its viewers. The mesmerizing quality of this painting forces an awareness of the violence issue.
5. Scrambled Skin - A four panel painting projecting pornography from a scrambled signal achieves the first rhythmic peak by contrasting abstract stylization with the previous painting. The effect of this controversial subject matter is as wonderful as the brilliant colors and disfigured forms.
6. God Accepts Personal Checks - The irony of finding religious faith via the little black box is simply pathetic. The hypnotic pattern of the background pulls us into prayer of surrender with Pat Robertson. The currency colored toll-free phone number plastered in the foreground subtly reveals Pat’s true calling.
7. Sherman Set the Wayback Machine - This image presents a comic foil to the previous painting. Its simple, playful style creates a counterbalance to the previous styles demonstrated thus far. Subconsciously, this image is a statement of reversion.
8. Dorothy Gale, Faithful T.V. Viewer - The lost innocence character of Dorothy reappears in her later years to demonstrate the effect of the television journey, (it gets old). At this stage of existence, the proverbial “Babysitter”, transforms its role into the “Life Line”.
9. …Was Brought To You By… - Response to the previous painting is subliminally presented through the product advertised. Color choice is representational of early television’s greenish tint, which also accents American advertising. Advertisement and television are one and the same. A nostalgic commercial break fluctuated rhythm enough to prepare the viewer for the remainder of the series.
10. Progression Digression - This extreme close-up suggests the effect of people living through television. The expression of submission reflects the emotional emptiness of constant viewing. This image is the first step toward the exit door of the series.
11. The Satellite is Gone… - Probably the most watched “live” event in television history. Man pushing the limits of space, one of the greatest achievements at the time, and it was broadcasted on television. Maybe television might serve a purpose.
12. …Way Up To Mars - Captures the fleeting seconds as I pull the plug on the “Satellite Transmissions Series”.



Learning Disciplines

These earlier works exercise different experiments in style, and color palette, while an “isolation” theme remains constant. The final products are indeed not my best skilled paintings, but they came directly from the heart and so they possess a special quality for me.



The Billiard Club
(Commissioned Murals)

Painting for a client can be tough sometimes, although it was not the case in this situation. I delivered what the client wanted, and he in turn gave me some latitude in creativity. Pushing the conventional view of the game, I was allowed to play with different views, angles, size, and even a bit of fantasy. I was able to demonstrate elements of design, and experiment with composition and balance.




Sculpture


Sculpture, to me, is like painting in the third dimension. “In the Round” is a concept that is easier said than done. Proportion, weight, composition, and balance are a few main concerns in sculpture that influence one another, keeping them in harmony is what makes sculpture a work of Art. The two examples I present (Man and Old Man) are my attempts of conquering convention, and then pressing those limits a little bit.



Ceramics


In my ceramic undertakings, I chose to work traditionally, the “Coil Method”. The process is repetitive and labor intensive. One coil blended atop another, while the form grows. The boundaries of Physics are tested and expanded during the construction period. The end results are these colossal vessels separating positive and negative space.


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© 2004 Sean Duffy