Jane Boyer: David, these new works are really powerful and take your work far more in the philosophical realm. My following comments are for all three pieces, because they seem very related to me.
The first thing I note is the progression in the three, from left to right. The simple but enforced rule constraining the 'child' figured in the loosely random mark making which fill each block. That division is as strict as prim Mrs. Fox, dressed in black, with her ruler tapping out a heart beat against her outstretched palm. The middle image bereft of any individual mark, the child has conformed and knows his place. And finally this image, where rules merge to become unity, with ghostly vestiges of remembrance. All the rules, have become a map, demarcating location, event, time, interaction. The division no longer menacing in its authority, but a reliable feature, a known quantity, a familiar structure.
They are beautiful in their expressive qualities.
David Minton: Hello Jane, thank you, I have always been a little suspicious of ‘beauty’ fearing and feeling that it is in danger of a sentimentality reflecting something at the core of the artist. The narratives ( are they narratives?)are the thoughts that ruminate around these things retrospectively, concerning my sense of myself in relation to these surfaces, divisions, separations. There is something poignant in the vulnerability of surface that is beautiful in its fragility. The drawings were not conceived of as a progression, but rather arose through acts of making which became kind of incomplete sentences pointing at things.
I’m coming to the position where I feel that I have been mistaken about beauty, maybe having too limited a concept of what it can be. I have to an extent been creeping up on it wearing a mask of denial. The thought occurs to me that I have no choice in the matter of what my stuff looks like - but then a thought replies that maybe I do.
Jane Boyer: As always David, your thoughts are so insightful. I'm glad that you are re-evaluating your notions of beauty. I think of beauty not as pretty, but something wondrous and fascinating, which can be aesthetically pleasing, or often, not. For me the thing that is beautiful has a fortitude that cannot be ignored, is compelling in its call, and is unforgettable. It's a thing that causes awe, and like the sublime, can be fearsome and overpowering in its presence. To my mind beautiful is not pure or innocent, but assured. Pretty is sentimental, beauty rocks. I think a lot of people dismiss things as beautiful, perhaps equating beauty with being insipid. Beauty is a word that has been overused. It should only be reserved for things that stop you in your tracks, make your knees go weak and follow the phrase 'Oh my god!'. But that's just my opinion.
As to whether you have a choice as to what your work looks like or not - I know exactly what you mean. We probably have more choice than we think and less choice than we'd like.
David Minton: Hello Jane, David Riley referred to the division in ‘Rules are Rules’ and prompted me to see it anew. I made the line by working across an airbrush film stencil. Removal of the stencil removed a section of the surface, producing a form of separation but not strictly a division. The marks remain an implicit threat. The white becomes engaged in an occlusive role that resonates in feelings of claustrophobia engendered by the unfeeling enforcement of rules, at the same time remaining defiant. Am pondering on beauty !