Christine WolheimSan Francisco, CA
I have two styles in which I paint: The first employs imagery from a specifically random array of sources, juxtaposing apparently disparate icons and styles. Of particular interest are biological, anatomical and historical scraps, objects from interior domestic spaces and other artifacts of the Western cultural canon. I rely on the techniques of collage and assemblage to undermine the attributed meaning (of objects) or expose the irony of prevalent definitions. I do this in tandem with an admittedly nostalgic, somewhat absurdist and very personal pursuit of beauty. My second, Abstract style, while still being a visual manifestation of this contention of passions, pursues more formal concerns: composition, juxtaposition, mark making, materials, and above all color. Each painting starts with a hidden desire, upon which I place a set of parameters. The desire is usually a visual color craving and the parameters usually have to do with shape or palette, layering or erosion. Thusly the painting becomes purely about itself. I have no preconceived notion of what will emerge. It becomes a collaborative struggle between the painting and me, until the many small moments or intersections are resolved into an overall aesthetic. It is liberating to be free of the inherent associations of any specific image. The borders and constraints of meaning are loosened, and non verbal language takes over. In keeping with the Historical tradition of Abstract Expressionism, the content revealed through this type of expression is nuanced, a barometer of both my inner and outer environment.