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Michael Randall        Statement                Messenger
Good Ol' 21st Century American Abstraction
"Painting and art have never had the same agenda, art is a much newer argument than painting. Painting has been around for 25,000 years, painting is commemorative. Art is a kind of discourse that in a funny way seeks to do away with itself." -Stephen Westfall It can sometimes seem strange, anachronistic and somewhat futile to be making abstract paintings at the dawn of the 21st Century. But I've been making them for 20 years now and I like being a part of the ancient continuum of painting and the somewhat newer continuum of abstraction. I believe that both painting and abstraction -- far from being dead, irrelevant or exhausted -- still contain limitless fresh possibilities. These paintings are the result of a new method of working I've recently developed that combines the latest technologies of digital photography and computer manipulation with the much older technology of dabbing paint onto canvas. I like to think of the results as Good Ol' 21st Century American Abstraction. The point of these paintings is what they look like -- what the final image ends up being; what kind of presence they might have when one gazes at them. I'm searching not so much for something new, but for something original and good. And although the look of these paintings is contemporary, they have links to both formalism and High Modernism. In the purest sense, they are "about" line, color and form. And a great deal of their interest is in how they were made -- the physical presence of the paint on canvas. I spend a good bit of time in the studio mixing my own paints, experimenting with different mediums and different types of paint, trying to master a wide variety of effects. In these pictures the paint has been poured, brushed, stained, squeegeed, sprayed, and squeezed from a tube. My work tends to fall loosely into series, but what I am after in each painting is a strong, surprising, singular image.
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