Joshua Flint, December 2013
December 6, 5-8 pm
The series highlights classic images of Americana: children holding hands, spanning time in a game of ring-around-the-rosy, a lone motorcycle rider exploring …
The gallery says, “Flint’s work is an amalgamation of dreams and partial memories on canvas.” – Robert Lange, Owner, Robert Lange Studios
The collector says, “The reason the paintings resonant so much with me, is each one feels nostalgic even though the locations are ambiguous.” – Alba Ponce de Leon, New York
Joshua Flint says the following about the body of work: This new series of paintings focuses on personal narrative as something dynamic and multi-layered. With each piece I source my imagery from family, friends, second-hand shops, internet archives, and my own sketches and imagination. The series highlights classic images of Americana: children holding hands, spanning time in a game of ring-around-the-rosy, a lone motorcycle rider exploring wide-open spaces, and the celebration of a bride to be. A great writer once said that there is no continuous narrative of life, there are lit-up moments, and the rest is dark. I’m interested in that lit-up moment, the story there, that holds our attention from childhood to adulthood. For whatever reason these subjects spoke to me and captivated my imagination. Often I start with that one image and play with it for a while to figure out why it held my interest. Usually I am trying to reduce it to the essentials and uncover what I was after through simplification. If I don’t discover a solution I then go the other route and add another an image to juxtapose or join the original. Sometimes I add a multitude of elements or comprise a functioning space from many sources. In some cases these environments are more cohesive and believable, in others the space is less defined. I feel that this use of imagery creates an honest representation of how we experience, interpret, and connect with the world. The act of viewing a painting is personal, so I encourage one’s own thoughts and emotions to elucidate meaning. With many of these paintings the meaning could be in the form of a parable, an allegory, perhaps a myth, or even alternative realities. In each painting I am trying to make the ‘unfamiliar familiar’, and in that way allow other associations to arise. In every painting there is a story, the story that tells you everything you need to know.
I came across a photo of these children playing, in fact there was a small series of photos of these children playing ring-around-the-rosy, I guess it could have been any game but they were holding hands in a circle, so that is how I initially related to the image. It seemed peaceful and frenetic all at the same time. It got me thinking how many games we play as children that are that way. My first idea was placing the focus on the children and the game with no background leaving an undefined environment, very minimalistic. However, it lacked something and failed to encompass everything I thought about the image and its content. So, I started asking myself where would this be played, and the answer was everywhere and anywhere in the US. In came the expansive cityscape to add some drama and context , and I felt it really clicked. After many alterations and combinations of these two elements the final painting presented itself with the children dominating the city, almost running along the tops of the buildings. This solution struck the right chord for all varied thoughts that occurred while I developed the piece.