Hyattsville
 
Maryland

Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

These paintings were created using house paint on Styrofoam panels through a three-step process.  First I lay several Styrofoam panels flat on the ground and I apply the paint using squeezable cylinder bottles to create organic, abstract forms.  My improvisational drawing process uses a multi-layered approach, both wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry to create unique shapes and patterns.  The process is additive; I don’t scrape paint away from the panel. I aim to achieve a balanced and harmonious composition within each panel. I began these paintings using a binary black and white palette but more recent paintings introduce color as well.

The second step is the drying process. As the paint dries on the panels, cracks form creating interesting and sometimes surprising lines, shapes and textures. Through this aging process, the paint settles and reveals itself, giving life to the composition. The alchemy between the paint and the air thus adds an element of mystery to the work. The fragility of the finished piece invokes a sense of transience even though the materials are permanent.

Finally, I combine the panels like puzzle pieces into diptychs and triptychs until I find a balanced composition. The resulting combinations are serendipitous and almost never what I initially anticipated. The finished piece engages the viewer both up close and from a distance, moving the eye from panel to panel and back. The seams where the panels meet each other can act as a boundary or a connecting point. The whole is always greater than the sum of the parts.

The resulting pieces are surreal, psychedelic landscapes that could be microscopic, cellular, terrestrial, or cosmic. I am interested in natural patterns created through the universal ratio of fractals such as trees, human bones, clouds, and celestial bodies. The images invoke something that could be seen either through a microscopic or a telescope – the duality of microcosm and macrocosm. These paintings engage the viewer for lengths of time and the textures are best appreciated in person, offering an antidote from today’s rapid-fire, digital screen-based visual culture.

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All work by Paul

Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x72", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x72", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x48", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x72", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x48", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x72", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x72", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x48", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x48", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x48", house paint on styrofoam panels
Paul Hrusa
2016, 48"x72", house paint on styrofoam panels