OBVERSE PAINTINGS

by Fred Chuang




ONTOGENIE
36" x 24"

This was the very first painting I created primarily from static electricity!  The plastic material that I use, PETG, comes with a thin, blue, protective film on each side.  When I peel it to paint, there is a static charge that has a rather amorphous "shape."  If I rub the surface, before applying any paint, I can "re-draw" that electrostatic field.  By floating one color over the surface, allowing the charged surface to draw the pigment down, and then backing that color with one of significant contrast, I can reveal the pattern of the charge.  When the composition was thus illuminated, I used solvent to take away areas that I wanted to create greater contrast.  The result was an image that was both embryonic and spooky, and I was reminded of the phrase: "Phylogeny mirrors(recapitulates) ontogeny."   "Phylo-" acknowledges the fetal image that I see here; I replaced the "-geny" with "-genie," referencing the djinn and acknowledging the ghostly, supernatural element of this work.  Of course, now, in confirming the reference in order to make this entry, I realize that I have reversed the quotation...and I will have to rename this piece.  The new name is Ontogenie, not Phylogenie..."Ontogeny" is what I meant to use in reference to the fetal image.  :-)