Corbin Hollis Choate
These works are studies of synesthesia and it's affect on visual art.
Synesthesia has been with me from childhood, but only in the past several years have I become aware of what it is and how it affects me. I am extremely sensitive to sound, colour, and light, and I experience the synesthetic effects of all three at the same time. The process of painting is really one of capturing the experience of synesthesia, which causes me to see music and sound as form, line and colour. Also, synesthesia shows up as a tangible sensation in my fingertips and heart which guides the exact placement, contour and shape of a line or form in the composition. This produces a symphony of motion throughout the finished painting which is evident when viewed with the same music used in the original creation. The effect of synesthesia is also felt through time distortion. There are instances when time slows and stretches, and the music I am listening to is translated into paths of colour and motion through space. This experience is reflected in the contours of lines and form, and coloured brush strokes in white space.
My art is deeply enhanced by the music of Pink Floyd, Hearts of Space Radio, and other similar types of music which allow the listener to transcend this reality and experience something beyond this dimension... this music facilitates the revelation of universal truth and beauty. It forces you to turn inward and experience an inner life which would be otherwise unobtainable. This is the synesthetic experience. One of my goals as an artist is to transfer the same synesthetic experience to the viewer that I encounter during the creation of a painting.
These images are deeply influenced by art history. One of the key influences is the Italian baroque sculptor Gian-Lorenzo Bernini. I'm drawn to the power of his gestures and perfection of his line and form. Bernini's work is timeless.
The paintings are influenced by the eighteenth and early nineteenth century French and Italian rococo period. I have taken the essential elements of Rococo design: simplicity, purity of line and form, curvillinear rhythms, and classical subject matter; and presented them in a bold, stylized, and highly accessible manner. These works are primarily influenced by the paintings of French painter Francois Boucher through his use of color and his classical subject matter, and the works of Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. The innocence of his work, the purity of line and form, the idealized beauty and humanity present in his sculptures touch me on a very deep level. His work is alive.
My favorite era of historic painting is the eighteenth century French romantic period. From this era I have taken the humanity, formalized compositions, draftsmanship, classical subject matter and color harmony... and infused them into my style of painting. Those who view my paintings will inevitably see the influence of painter and print maker Alphonse Mucha, the inventor of Art Nouveau. His work is extremely stylized, bold and graphic, using only line and color to convey idealized beauty.
Finally, the abstract qualities found in my work can be traced directly to Picasso's romantic works from the 1920's and 1930's, and Roy Lichtenstein, who used simplicity of form and colour on a white background to provide a formality of structure and presentation.