Studio painting (green), 2012
enamel on canvas, 69 x 67 cm
Painting for assembly, 2012
enamel on canvas, 51 x 71 cm
Chinese philosophy painting, 2012,
enamel on canvas, 67.3 x 47 cm
Untitled figure ground study (Credit Suisse), 2008
ink on paper. 52.9 x 76.2 cm
Key painting, 2012
enamel on canvas, 41 x 41 cm
Untitled figure ground study (facing German suffering), 2011
ink and enamel on paper, 89 x 94 cm
Untitled figure ground study (Degas/Obama), 2011
ink and enamel on paper, 139 x 168 cm
White dollar painting (coin toss 8), 2012
enamel on canvas, 53.3 x 43.2 cm
Green line, 2012
enamel on canvas, 69 x 67 cm
Untitled figure ground study (New York Times), 2009
ink and enamel on paper, 78.7 x 87.3 cm)
Event drawing, 2009
ink and enamel on paper, 132 x 120 cm
State museum painting, 2012
enamel on canvas, 41 x 51 cm
all images courtesy the artist and their respectives galleries
LA-based artist PAUL SIETSEMA employs painting, drawing and film to push the limits of representation, as well as to redefine how it is perceived and experienced.
I like the idea of a strong mechanism that gives a weak statement, to push the perceptual activity deeper into something, and ask the viewer for a bit more. Or perhaps they just miss everything, which of course can be a little thrilling since this parallels how we come across, pass by, pay attention or not pay attention to all other things we come across in our lives. – PAUL SIETSEMA in conversation with GINTARAS DIDŽIAPETRIS, October 2011
Although working mainly with figurative motifs (fragments of wood, hammers, newspapers or nails among others), he is less concerned with traditional notions of resemblance or objective truth than with taking images, such as found photographs or reproductions, and reworking them to create a sense of visual intrigue and material presence that entices the viewer to stop and look at the work slowly and carefully.
I work with the individual elements of these compositions because they emblematize for me the sort of inversion of clichéd artists’ tools and materials becoming symbols in the digital age (i.e. the paint brush in Photoshop); the passing of a tool from a functional physical object into a symbol for a parallel function in a new medium.
Through labor-intensive techniques, accurate working processes and carefully constructed mechanisms, PAUL SIETSEMA reveals his ongoing investigations into the perception of present time, the relationship of materials to form, as well as the mechanics of knowledge and history within image culture.
All photographs and movies of me as a child were stolen along with my father’s movie camera when our house was broken into many many years ago. I often wonder if I have fewer memories of this time because there is no media to produce them. There is only the present and whatever accumulates around you in the present makes up your present conception of the world. The gap between distances in time and space is filled with media, which is anachronistic by nature, removed from the string of linear time our existence and perception is governed by. – PAUL SIETSEMA in conversation with GINTARAS DIDŽIAPETRIS, October 2011