Erik Reel

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Tue, 02/13/2024 - 11:30am to 12:00pm
Erik Reel portrait
Joseph Gallivan interviews Erik Reel about his show “Street”

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, at 11.30 a.m. Joseph Gallivan interviews Erik Reel about his show “Street” which runs at Laura Vincent Design & Gallery through March 2.

Reel talks about abstraction, the connection between painting and music, Cy Twombly, and his paintings "Origins", “Blood” and "Pulse" about the Pulse nightclub massacre. 

This show was recorded on an iPhone 14 with a Rode mic on Feb. 10, 2024. 

 

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE: 

https://lvdesignandgallery.com/services/

ERIK REEL "STREET"

1 FEBRUARY - 2 MARCH 2024

My work has followed a life-long pattern of exploring aspects of how human consciousness processes visual stimuli, or what is often called cognitive processing, especially when involving two-dimensional information. Early on, this was based on a deep study of color theory and visual ambiguities and visual constancies involved in how the human brain processes information on a two-dimensional surface. It is my contention that with the rise of graphically interfaced personal computers and the ever-increasing involvement of more and more humans with flat screens in their daily lives, that an understanding and deeper awareness of how two-dimensional cognitive processing operates and works is central to civilized human experience and should be a focus of my visual art. Further, my work is intimately bound up with an exploration of human marking on a surface, without machine or mechanical assistance;  I feel that such marking is a defining characteristic of the human and the primordial act of signification and meaning for human consciousness.

 

My work has been influenced by micro- and nano-photography, poorly erased whiteboards, sidewalks, ruins, abandoned industrial sites, ancient stone surfaces, fire, sand, sea and ice, charcoal, hieroglyphs, esoteric texts, Hubble Ultra-Deep Field photographs, foundries, wars, concrete, pubic hair, cytoplasm, craters, wood, photographs of things we cannot see with the naked eye in real time, paintings, railroad box-car markings, Scandinavian runes, blizzards, scratched surfaces, improvisational music, typography, the human voice, the night sky, the inside of an eyeball, the surface of other planets, scars, deserts, scorched earth, and the accidental, which is not really indeterminate, but the result of subtler action on a deeper plane of consciousness.

 

I have been particularly inspired by improvisational music: Vijay Ayer, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Theolonius Monk, Dewey Redman, Flamenco, Jamaican Freestyle, Imrat Khan and the improvisational traditions of the Indian sub-continent.

 

As for early influences, growing up in Seattle my visual starting point for painting was Mark Tobey’s White Writing paintings. Other influences included Pacific Northwest Scandinavian textile, architectural, and design traditions, which tend to be highly abstract. Later, it was Klee and Miro: In terms of color theory there is a direct lineage from Itten and Klee to Albers to Dahn to myself. At university, influences also came from Michael Spafford and the Black Mountain school via Jacob Lawrence and Robert Jones, then slightly later, Cy Twombly via his exhibitions in the 1970s.

 

I have found that my researches into human mark making are capable of sensitizing people to the subtleties of their internal cognitive processing in ways that are not easy to verbalize, but are clearly perceived by those observers who look sufficiently long enough to fully experience the paintings directly. This is a process bound by specific cognitive constraints that take a certain amount of time. You cannot rush biology; a glance is insufficient.

 

Erik Reel

 

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Joseph Gallivan is a reporter for Axios Portland. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune. 

He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com

josephgallivan@gmail.com 

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