“A New Form”
Compression, Extraction, Reapplication. This is the highly physical process John has developed to achieve the fusion of multi colors and shapes to create a new form.
The first stage, Compression, consists of extruding large amounts of mixed acrylic mediums onto a metal plate. A second plate of exact size is carefully positioned on top of the first plate matching up the four corners. The Compression process then begins by walking and stomping on the metal plates, usually to the sound of music. When the plates are pulled apart, this forces the excess paint to separate, leaving an exact color code of shapes and peak like vein networks covering both plates. The plates are then left to dry.
The second stage, Extraction, begins by extracting only the veins off the metal plates with a razor scraper, while trying to leave the compressed base coat underneath intact. The veins are saved to be used in the reapplication stage. This process is then repeated; compressing new combinations of colors and shapes that also fill in the extracted vein network to create new ones. At some point, a decision is made to also start scraping chip-like shapes of the multi colored compress plates. Depending on hand to razor blade control, each chip when turned over, will offer different shapes of compressed color combinations and thicknesses. No two colored shapes will ever be the same. This process is repeated until the desired amount of shapes has been achieved for reapplication.
The third stage, Reapplication, consists of arranging and pasting the shapes and veins back onto the now outlined subject plates to create the work. But before this can be done, the plates are pressure sanded to remove excess remains of veins and burrs. This creates fragmented string like shapes that are either added to the work or saved along with any left over remnants to be added to future works. But as in my Oceanarium series, most remnants were ground up to be used for the ocean floor. The beauty of this entire process is, everything gets used up, including John. So a well deserved rest between projects is needed.
John’s portrait series is a variation of this process, with Compression and Extraction on glass, and Reapplication on board with singular color background to enhance the subject.