The skin of an artwork speaks of the singular visual vocabulary of its maker. Each of these six artists found a way of making a unique skin, either by using nontraditional materials or by employing traditional materials in an unusual way. "Skin" features the work of Josh Blackwell, Martin Bromirski, Sharon Butler, Suejin Jo, Scott Richter and Drew Shiflett.
Josh Blackwell’s skin is plastic. Elaborating upon everyday experience, he makes intentionally redundant objects from found materials that explore the humdrum rituals of use. Treading a precarious path between convenience and excess, the plastic bag has occupied his attention for the past seven years.
Martin Bromirski tends to torture the skin of his canvases. He deliberately picks cheap ready-made canvases: he paints, rips, cuts out circles, washes it in the sink, scrapes, sands, patches and stains till the history of all his trials and errors produces this effect. If he stops from exhaustion, he deems that it is the right skin and moves on.
Sharon Butler subverts the traditional use of common materials. Her raw canvases are pinned on stretchers in peculiar disarray, unsettling the viewer and causing them to focus on the image in order to figure out why it is sitting there: Is it lost? Does it need help? What does it want to say?
Suejin Jo paints with oil and acrylic paint in a nontraditional way. Deeply interested in the texture of the picture surface, she painted with oil and dry pigment for over a decade despite the health risks. While experimenting to find a healthier alternative, she started to mix oil and acrylic paints wet on wet to give a unique and intriguing skin to her painting.
Scott Richter believes that words strip the work of mystery, draining the dialog therefor the viewer should draw their own conclusions. He makes his own medium to give a unique skin to his work, undergoing considerable effort and expense. His well-known pieces are brilliantly constructed with impasto oil paint and airy whispers circulating among the clearly defined forms.
Drew Shiflett uses the traditional materials of pencil, ink, glue, watercolor, conte crayon, cheesecloth, and handmade paper. But her way of building the skin of her artwork is anything but traditional. She repeatedly draws, paints, cuts, glues, layers, pulls and builds until all the elements evolve to resemble a sculptural wall relief.