grid of Current Work
Current Work
Current Work Statement

My project is to vivify the unseen, and for me paint is the medium particularly well suited for making abstract phenomena visible and to reveal unexpected meaning.

My current series of paintings works from new sources of figuration revealed by recent advances in mechanical methods of observation. Some of my image sources are from the Hubble Telescope, robotic submersibles, and cellular electron micrographs. One particular element that fascinates me is the 'arms' common in my three sources, but invisible to the natural eye: nebulous fingers, articulated flagella, and cytoplasmic processes that seem to wiggle and wave and convey a sense of triumph over despair in the dark corners of creation.

I treat this spiritual quality with formal methods and an aleatoric process that contrasts successive transparent veils with a buildup of paint.


Over the past twenty years I have developed a variety of techniques in the studio including gestural brushwork, hand applications, spray applications, and image projections. But I have become most interested in the natural tendril-like flow of paint that has a similar look to the 'arms' in my source material. I began flooding experiments working with pigment-solvent mixtures drained over areas of canvas.

Paint-flow is controlled by tilting and rolling the canvas, letting the pigment define itself in the crenellations of previously worked areas (e.g., work titled Aphanisis, 2011). I sometimes use a brush to amplify the dialogue developing between sequential layers (e.g., God Almighty And His Dog, 2011).

If necessary I use a sprayed sfumato veil to push the light into the distance before superimposing another layer (e.g., Gorgon, 2011). I manipulate the process to tease out an image, while allowing the work to set mood and feeling as the paint illuminates the blackness of my grounds.


Drawing on new methods of observation from all disciplines, I continue to look for new visual ideas to invigorate my process. In the coming year I will identify methods that at once refine visual information while leaving material elements raw. I work best by limiting the palette, scale, and fluid consistency, and expanding the physical interaction by developing new tools to handle panels and paint. I compound and transpose layering techniques to refine the interaction of line and form between successive layers allowing the painting to reveal itself.

- Jerry Carniglia



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