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Creative Research Lab

SHIFT (MFA1) - March 2008

Karri Paul

Karri Paul
Untitled (detail), 2008
oil on aluminum and wall
approx. 96"h x 170"w

I paint with oils on cut, torn, and collaged aluminum flashing, following a process that involves various methods of addition, subtraction, composition, destruction and revision. Chance collaborates with deliberation. To encourge literal and metaphorical cross-pollination, I build multiple paintings at once. My reactive adjustments to the imposition of one painting's vocabulary or syntax onto another's enrich the paintings with unexpected shifts in, for instance, surface quality, subject matter, or color.

With each painting, I want to capture a distinct kaleidoscopic moment. Constant change is integral to my paintings as products as well as in process. Fittingly, I emphasize signifiers of incompletion and suspension. What you see is like a freeze-frame of a configuration that implies continuation, that suggests a continuing evolution. However, within this "frame" is an awkward simultaneity of references to multiple -- and sometimes contradictory -- landscapes, vantage points, color schemes, rhythmic patterns, modes of representation and manners of paint application.

Several recurring motifs unite this recent series of paintings: distant hills or mountain ranges, bodies of water viewed from above, tropical foliage, hot air balloons, photographers photographing, uncluttered horizons, nocturnal cityscapes, bare trees in silhouette, and amusement park rides. Building a believable fiction about place remains among my primary goals even as I push my work farther toward abstraction.