In the last three years I have been working with the idea of correcting in my work. The idea of rectifying something that exists through a correction to create a new reality, even if that which exists was originally perfect, permits me to establish an ample and profound dialogue with the “problem” of painting.
I understand painting as a problem to be solved.
At this point in time it is difficult for me to understand painting in any other way than from a position of profound questioning of the act of painting. I believe that painting can only make sense if we are capable of reconsidering it differently, which implies a strong concept, a unique process and a new result.
I try to plan my work in light of these convictions.
A strong and clear concept of painting, without pre-established strategies, permits me to work from and with freedom. From this I understand that actual reality is complex and demands, among other things, something that I believe is important: an equilibrium between a strong intellectual concept and an intuitive-irrational position before the work.
I understand that painting means “to paint” in the most elemental sense, and from here, confront the work from a creative position that accepts all its consequences. I would like to avoid, if that is not the express intention, falling into the trap of constructing the picture and thus turning painting into handicraft. Neither should painting become solely a question of alchemy.
If it is possible to reconsider painting anew, it is important to approach it through a unique process. All work requires its own original technique.
The ultimate aim is painting understood as a new reality. Painting should not become an end in itself; I understand painting as a means to an end. To create a “new reality” through painting, implies creating a new pictorial space that is autonomous because it possesses its own laws which permit it to function as such. In this space one plays with the pictorial, the optical, the virtual and the deceptive …etc, on a bi-dimensional plane.
With this consideration, I am striving in my work towards the idea of destroying in order to construct by correction, (the moment when I consider myself to be painting is when I work on the canvas with an electric sander, destroying that which exists and creating a new reality, produced by the use of the machine). The sander is important in the work process because it allows me to take a step back from painting, to paint as though being outside painting. It prevents me from controlling the process, allowing fate to play a role, and it creates a crude atmospheric space which takes the work away from what is merely precious. The physical material in painting appears, but as a negation, resulting in empty texture; like anti-matter.
The idea of chaos also appears in my work, within an order which allows this chaos to function. The idea of the wall and graffiti, (graffiti as an idea, not as a formal expression), express a surrounding reality. My paintings principally come from visions of the street.
Pablo Rey, Brooklyn, New York – Fall 1998