Peak Shift

New Projects

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I’m beginning to working on these two paintings a little bit slower than usual.  I think that as I’m starting to get more time in the studio, I have more opportunity to be more meditative about color options.  One of the things that keeps me painting with the resin layering process is the ability to look through the surface of these pieces to see planes of color and subtly details trapped below. Water has an incredible way of bending light that keeps me looking and inspired.

I started on my own projects and started looking at what other artists who I liked talked about when it came to their paintings.  I don’t want my work to look like these artists, but I think they have some great ideas about drawing a viewer into their paintings and thrilling them with color and gestural painterly action.

Currently, I look at the works of Cecile Brown and James Roper for more information about color, movement, and composition.  These are some grand artist who seem to nod at fauvism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism.

Cecily Brown’s young lovers melt into the foliage, fused into the landscape in the heat of a moment. Everything about Brown’s painting erupts with sex appeal: from the soft-porn pastel colours to the oily-wet malleability of the surface. Cecily Brown knows that desire lies in the flirtation: amid her fervent gestural abstraction, just the glimpse of suggestion is enough.

Cecily Brown’s young lovers melt into the foliage, fused into the landscape in the heat of a moment. Everything about Brown’s painting erupts with sex appeal: from the soft-porn pastel colours to the oily-wet malleability of the surface. Cecily Brown knows that desire lies in the flirtation: amid her fervent gestural abstraction, just the glimpse of suggestion is enough.

James Roper mentioned some fascinating points that I had not known earlier this week about how is work compositions are currently motivated by “peakshift”.

acrylic on canvas 120cm x 120cm 2008

acrylic on canvas 120cm x 120cm 2008

The construction of each painting fuses disparate images from a variety of sources such as fashion 
magazines, animation stills, comics, the Internet as well as my own photo’s and drawings. I predominantly 
choose images and try to create forms which I feel register a visual ‘peak shift’, a term given to the 
phenomena of ‘neurological attraction’ that appears in both humans and animals to an extreme 
characterisation of an object. Peak shift has been suggested by the neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran 
as one of the ’10 universal laws of art’. This peakshift is present within advertising, Hollywood blockbusters, computer games, Baroque art and Haute couture fashion as well as in the extreme forms of body exaggeration found in bodybuilding and pornography. Japanese animation which also uses this technique has also informed my painting style. By isolating out what I see as the crucial parts of such images and collaging them together into the work my intention is to intensify these visual triggers even further so they form a sort of neurological hyperactivity.
With some of this lingering in my brain, I’m just chewing over some topics that deal with expressionistic color and composition.
Work in Progress

Work in Progress

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About scoutcuomo

Charcoal dust and eraser shavings, oil bars and sketch books, wood, gold pray paint, resin, overly soft blankets, and turpentine, feathers and coffee grinds.

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