Eric Ridge

STATEMENT ON PAINTING

  As a human being I choose to participate in the practice of art. I define art as the expression of all personal life experiences and a purposeful voice for one's time and culture. For myself, this includes digesting that information and projecting some kind of narrative that helps make sense of it.

  The circumstance we as humans find ourselves in derives from the duality of our ever changing and evolving nature. By existing in a constant state of flux we are bound by episodes of animalistic inclination which attempt to commingle with our “higher” selves. Have we evolved enough to keep up with our technological and societal growth? Can we live up to our moral and philosophical profundity?

I am most interested in asking questions and inspiring a dialogue relating to who we are and what defines our impact on each other and our surrounding planet. I tend to focus on some of the darker aspects of life--the things that cause the most complexity or problematic behavior. While I am conceptually and intellectually inclined--my work explores emotion and intuition as much as anything.

  As a practicing artist, I've fallen prey to painting--it's infinite challenge seduces me. Painting is a way to bring precedence and singularity to an image through the ritual of mark making. It is the handmade property of the medium that reveals forethought and deliberation.

  Part of my process involves the creation of narrative or allegorical scenes that embrace the complexity of humanity and its reach. These works are based in a surrogate realism; this means the source material is broken down and elements are changed based on concept and design. The setting for the work compliments or sets up a duality between the events of the foreground and the space of the background.

  The research for my work comes from a multitude of places, experiences and interest. I regularly keep an ongoing library of images scenarios and incomplete narratives. Then typically I will piece some of these ideas together into a “complete narrative”.

  As far as techniques are concerned, I have adopted various painting influences from Baroque to twentieth century realism. Although I generally paint from a combination of photographic source and life painting, I do not project or graph. I work with the concern for under painting, alla prima, color, descriptive painterly application and over-glazing. These five concerns of painting are routinely conceptualized through composition and theme.

© 2018 Eric Ridge