Sunday, October 29, 2006

Show at Glow Natural Health Center

A few days ago I hung a show at Glow Natural Health Center. I hung about 15 of my recent paintings. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera along so I could shoot some photos for you all. Anyway, its always exciting for me to see work hanging in a new place, especially a space with great lighting. What was particularly cool, is my friend Lindsie, who's acupuncture practice is there, ordered this very excellent wire-art-hanging system. It took me less than 45 minutes to hang the whole show, a process that usually takes a couple hours of hammering, wall destruction, and tense hair pulling. Because of these cute little efficient German made hooks that slide up and down picture wire, I was able to quickly adjust height, and hang, in an uncharacteristically calm, Zen-like fashion. I'd buy them for our house if it wasn't for the 100$ per hook price!

On the Tractor in Mohalon

I recently finished this painting called On the Tractor in Mohalon. Its based on some photos I took last December in Punjab on our farm. My nieces from California and Nayan were running wild on the farm. I was busy giving scooter rides and coaxing the kids into posing for photos I knew I'd painting in the not so distant future. It was a glorious sunny day with bright yellow mustard fields in full bloom. HERE's a mini slide show of the painting with some detail shots.

Open Studio

we celebrated the opening of our painting studio this past saturday with a grand turnout. it was such a great evening w/ friends and family and music and wine, a cozy fire, and of course, lovely embience in the new building. it was such a treat to poke my head into the loft and see a group of friends sprawled out and relaxed, chatting without a care in the world. i realized we were successful in creating a truly inspiring building. i often got asked during the party when we started, how long it took, etc. well i started drawing concept sketches in earnest in january of 2003. we broke ground in october of 2004, and while still not done, we were done enough to throw a party april of 2006. what i'm just now getting used to, is the idea of associating the fruits of this labor with something positive. it was such an utter pain and stress filled endeavor to build, that sadly, along the way, i plum forgot it would be a place to relax and enjoy. i recall seeing a documentary many years ago about the amish building a house for a newly wed family. it was so inspiring to see the community come together and helping in such a direct way. i started thinking recently about how many people have been involved in building this. from all the various contractors, architect, his assistant, my old college buddy who did a lot of the detailed deisgn and building, his guys that did the wood work and exteriors, friends of ours we bribed w/ ameen's savory meals, paintings, and anything else we could think of. its amazing how it all came together.

Can a Painter Project?

spent a good part of saturday over at my masi's. was playing with my cousin's notepad pc, which has this great drawing interface. attached is one of the resulting sketches. this was originally a photograph i shot while in india a few months ago. from this pc software, i am able to import an image, and then draw on top of it. i thought the sketch came out well, but felt a little odd about the process. i ran across this article at clickwalla on souza. it mentioned his obsession w/ a camera obscura, which apparently allowed him to project images onto his canvases from where he could paint. i recall being a kid and getting this little light desk thing that let me put a picture in it, and a piece of paper, and i could trace over the image. i was fascinated. like most kids around 11 years of age, reproducing realism was my artist ideal. much later in my art years, i can safely say its not a big deal to sketch things, but often it is a pain blowing up an image from a photo onto canvas to form a starting point for a painting. i can see why souza wanted to skip the effort, and get on w/ the more exciting aspects of his paintings. ameen and i started chatting about this last night - bottom line, is it sleezy in some way to follow such a process? i would think this argument would be considered settled by marcelles du champ's toilet hanging show many years ago. certainly the art world claims it is, nonetheless, i think deep down, even the most ardent "art is what the artist says it is" mantra chanters, have a problem with it. it took ameen 20 minutes and some pondering to finally conclude, yeah, its fine, so long as the artist doesn't hide the process in any way. i, however, think its fine, but am still feeling unsettled. why am i unsettled? if someone can hang a urinal up and call it art -- if legions can shoot photos and call it art -- if legions can accept both as art, why is it such a big deal for me to shoot one's own photo, project it, and jump start the composition process? oddly, it doesn't even bother me to now know one of my favorite painters followed such a process.

another breath

little poems,
for little pieces
of paper.

no anguish fills my
heart today, just
the bliss
of domesticity.

a wet day,
a visiting friend,
a trip to the dog park.

Freedom

"I've been watching you. First
the house, then a beautiful
wife, a chocolate pup,
some art on the walls."

The urban hipster, divorce
progeny, coffee drinkers
individualized. We, they --
don't see the simplicity of
family life -- the wonder
outside the club. Obsessed
with the freedom of wandering,
city to city, scene to scene, style
to style.

The roaming bores me, and
the union of family
liberates me.

I look at my new baby and see
eternity, simplicity, fragility,
and my bones.

Last night the sun came out,
blessed me with life, returned
my mother to me.

Education

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin
Master of Science Electrical Engineering, 1994.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, Illinois
Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering, English Minor, 1993.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Runners

When two runners meet,
assuming they don't both
run away from one another,
they follow the process
described below:

Step 1. One runner flees.

Step 2. The second follows in pursuit.

Step 3. The first slows down,
out of breath,
side aching,
hunched over,
stares at the ground.

Step 4. The second catches the first,
out of breath,
side aching,
hunched over,
stares at the first.

Steps 1-4 are repeated
indefinately. Which runner
flees and which chases
is arbitrary and typically varies
across iterations.

Eventually the runner fleeing
mistakenly runs in an unfamiliar
direction, suddenly, unexpectedly
reversing course; this is known as
the exception condition.

Condition:

Confused,
the two runners smack
into one another,
bodies slap and
crack hard, ears
screaming, a
piercing ring.

Silently,
like cotton seeds
in spring,
softly floating,
drifting across
golden fields,
swirling,
heads dizzy,
bodies aged,
grasping for breath,
a final,
feeble flutter,
they float,
then fall
to rest.

abalone

you lie
pressed into
hot sand,
with me,
under this
bubbling sun,
my ear
on your tummy,
i listen to the
sounds of our
waves.

lover

let this blazing sun
combust me,
spin my bones to smoke,
weave my pulse
through your blessed breath.

eyes

last night bellingham
bay hurled a cherry pit
glowing full and
bright, spit far
and high,
that wine glazed moon
led my ras gulah
girl and i
through
cedar spice and
winding creeks,
saffron stumbles
on a wooded flight,
plight,
of promise,
wet with smiles.

contained

on a prairie, golden fields, evening sun, a light wind, sweat,
wheat swaying on rolling hills.

standing, you and i. you hold a matchbox, reveal a 12 inch
wooden stick, press your index finger against the bulb head,
strike. the flame launches up and out, flung high and far,
smooth like a fiery lawn dart.

the match lands. i trail, slowly, under the arc, look down --
a small flame, nice and neat like a bunsen burner's
initialization fire, flickering yellow, contained, stares back
at me. i place my index finger in my mouth, moisten, reach
down and put out the flame. sizzling. smoke.

i look up, you're far from me, flicking another match. i follow
the flame, terminate the emerging fire.

this process continues. new launch sites. new fires. new
terminations. i finally say, "you know, this could start a
real fire, the whole prairie could catch." you ignore me and
flick another.

while crouching to extinguish this flame, i watch a previous
flame re-emerge, unsilenced -- it rises to a roar, crackles,
grass burns, wheat smokes, fire swells, the prairie erupts in
blaze.

2 painters

wrapped
head to
toe, wire
coils.

passion
in a canvas
cacoon.

wet moon,
thick paint,
red, yellow,
blue,
and black,
drips through
darkness.

drape our print
across a white gallery,
documentation of
two acrylic
lovers.

Shows

2007 - Recent Paintings - The Neighborhood Cafe, Seattle. Solo show.

2006 - Recent Paintings - Glow Natural Health Center, Seattle. Solo show.

2006 - Recent Paintings - “Tasveer” – Seattle South Asian Film Festival, Seattle. 2 person show.

2005 - Recent Paintings - Neighborhood Cafe, New work on canvas and wood, Seattle. Solo show.

2003 - “The Tiger Returns” - Pendulam Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. Group show.

2002 - “Collaborative Works on Paper of Deep and Ameen Dhillon” - Chitraneketan Gallery, Trivandrum, India. 2 person show.

2001 - Ocean - New work on wood and canvas - Café Fiore, Seattle. Solo show.

1999 - Trapeze - Art Space Gallery, Group Show - Seattle. Group show.

Artist Statement

Many years ago, I became fascinated with the notion of the poet as an antenna, essentially channeling words onto paper and rejecting the notion that a poem is an artifact of the ego's imposition of control over words. I began experimenting heavily with language, words, phonetics, layout, compositions, etc. A few years later, I began experimenting more with my dreams as content for poems. Eventually I found myself repeatedly using words to paint pictures, stripping my poems of a narrative. I even wound up spending more time worrying about the layout, and the way a reader would encounter the words. I was cutting words out of magazines, pasting them onto pages, and re-arranging them. I feel this was a turning point when I began experimenting with art. I work primarily in acrylic. Mostly on canvas, but also on wood panels. I use a fair bit of mediums and collage. I like walking the line between abstract work and representational. What interests me most about painting is creating something visually energetic while being explicitly un-automatable. When I'm painting, I run as far away from technology as I can get. I love the physical act of painting -- moving the brush in long, rough strokes -- encouraging the paint to drip, and splatter. I'm also interested in letting the painting paint itself -- to act primarily as a channel.

Monday, October 02, 2006

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