My work builds on the idea of drawing with a strong reference to subverted, abstracted landscapes. Although very literal in my formative years, this idea has become more about psychological places or mindscapes. Heads and eyes inhabit these invented worlds as self-referential symbols of viewing and observing, echoing roles of audience and artist.
The paintings are also about finding a way to elevate automatic/notebook drawing processes using colors available in paint. I played a lot of video games growing up and it was those early visual experiences that inform how I put things together today. Cartoons, underground comics, graffiti, sci-fi, hip-hop, and electronic music have a big influence on the types of forms and atmospheres that I use.
My most recent paintings are layered, muted diagrams composed of simple, primary shapes. The Vision Quest paintings operate within a simple set of formal guidelines. Basic shapes interact, forming larger and more complex systems of geometric scaffolding. Each building block offsets the next functioning as symmetrical units in an optical game of balance. Bright colors subvert embedded tones of melancholy, paranoia, and menace. Architectural platforms fracture and disintegrate amidst a landscape of blips, bubbles, rays, spurts, pulses, diamonds, buffs and droplets. Facial arrangements and mask-like configurations emerge, as forms are mirrored and paired. I think of these paintings as 8-bit, not because they are pixelated, but because they seem like the beginnings of a new technology.
I have also been investigating fractal patterning and linear networks with large paper cutouts. My process often begins with subconscious doodling. Basic shapes interact and direct each other to form larger and more complex systems of geometric scaffolding. From there, I put the imagery through the more labored processes of painting, collage, and installation. This extended meditation lends weight and refinement to what starts off as the cursory meanderings of a ballpoint pen.
-- Seth Adelsberger