Like the Abstract Expressionists, I engage with the history of figurative and abstract art and constantly push the limits of figuration. I explore overlapping images in airbrush or stencil, with gestural effects laid on top of a drawing or a cartoon image. I attempt to separate the image from the process to create a more complex and visually exciting body of work as well as a personal mythos. The struggle is to find meaning in the imagery and to determine how that meaning impacts the viewer.
Women are my primary subjects—be they androgynous, iconic or mythological goddesses, cartoon-like characters, or abstracted forms. Exaggerated mannerisms, hand gestures, and different points of view are part of my abstracted figuration. I use gestural, painterly expressionism in a non-ironic way.
My unique drawing style, combined with cartoonish abstract figuration, is a contribution to contemporary figuration. There is an authenticity to my struggle to dig deep to arrive at the final painting—in other words, the journey is important, not the preconceived image.
Color, as emotive content, is an important aspect of my work. I like to explore the tactile and physical nature of the possibilities of paint and at times use unconventional methods to arrive at the final image.
Greg Kessler Paintings