Timothy Tompkins – DCKT Contemporary, New York
Born 1967 in Long Beach, California, USA
The inspiration for my paintings stem from an interest of engagement with the tropes and language of the medium’s historical movements such as pop, still life, and history painting. My ideas about art-making express a combination of concepts: the material nature of painting and how the viewer perceives its surface, the history of painting as a medium, abstraction, memory, representation, and technology. Using commercial sign enamel, the enamel paintings are executed on 1/8” thick aluminum panels. I manipulate the liquid state of the paint to make more evident the traced contours of the image and form. This quality gives a transitory effect to the piece, as if the image is still manifesting.
The paintings reflect both physically and metaphorically a relational narrative which dissolves into form and color. This effect endeavors to mimic the layers of codes and semiotics of an image while simultaneously asking the viewer to participate in an expanded dialogue of contemplation and connotation of content. Additionally, the paintings attempt to reflect the influences of contemporary society, such as consumerism, mass media, and digital culture. Our image- and media-driven society creates an expanded dialogue for new ways of communicating ‘history.’ With ever changing and advancing technology, we experience events, from the mundane to the influential, rapidly and on a global level. I feel this sense of immediacy renders an intriguing pathway to the idea of what is accepted as history and social memory. My interest in both the language of painting and contemporary theories of visual culture attract to me what I see in the images produced by mass media, as a loose visual connection to painting's history and the medium's influence as a visual communicator. The paintings play upon the idea of revealing the unseen and invoke the notion of a disjunctive relationship between observation, representation, and interpretation.