Patrick Glover, “Blurred Vision”

The slow drift of traffic moves along with caution as raindrops dance upon your windshield exposing brilliant points of light.

North Carolina fine artist Patrick Glover celebrates these moments in a continuing series of oil paintings entitled, “Blurred Vision” at the Mindy Solomon Gallery
June 25 through July 30, 2011. “Blurred Vision” will feature a public opening and discussion with Patrick Glover on Wednesday, June 29 from 6 to 6:30 PM, the reception continues until 8PM. (Pictured above: Trestle, oil on canvas, 36x24")

Taking a step away from the incessant media waterlog, Patrick captures everyday events and explores the delicate balance of the familiar with complete abstraction. Eleven thought provoking, large-scale oil paintings will be on exhibit, capturing the blurred view of cars, vans, trucks and busses undertaking a nebulous journey beneath a canopy of melodic raindrops that obscure your view. (Pictured above: Copper Van, oil on canvas, 36x56")

To gain deeper insight, I caught up with Patrick Glover to learn more about “Blurred Vision” and when he originally started developing his “Highway Series.”

mM : In reference to your “Highway“ series of paintings—how long have you been working on this sequence of images and how many paintings have you completed to date?

PG : I have been working on this series of rain distorted views through windshields since 2005. There are over 200 paintings in this series. (Pictured above: Gradual Incline, oil on canvas, 32x48")

mM : How many paintings will you be featuring in your upcoming exhibition at the Mindy Solomon Gallery in Florida?

PG : Mindy has 11 currently and will be receiving two more newly completed paintings before the opening. (Pictured above: Tanker, oil on canvas, 48x72")

mM : When closely examining the condensation, and taking moments to step back from the work, it seems that the paintings reveal other-worldly images— faces and figures. How would you describe your approach to the narrative and are the images revealing faces and figures that add to your style of visual storytelling? Please explain:

PG : I don't really consider the paintings to be narrative but hope that they convey a shared experience of perceptual ambiguity and uncertainty. I also don't intentionally add distortions that suggest figures, faces or other objects. I attempt to be fairly accurate in my depiction of the types of distortions that are captured in the original source images that I work from. I have noticed that many of the distortions created by water tend to be recognizable, pod like or eye shaped for instance—shapes often seen in nature.

Nature tends to prefer shapes that are fluid, much of our world is shaped by water and most living things have evolved adaptations related to and also shaped by water. We (humans) tend to look for patterns and the recognizable (like seeing animals and recognizable things in clouds). If the paintings suggest faces or figures to some viewers, I would attribute it to that impulse, not anything I have done intentionally, though admittedly, it is a part of what makes the images I work from intriguing. (Pictured above: On-Coming 2, oil on canvas, 40x32")

mM : When did you start creating this style of work? What inspired you originally?

PG : The highway series grew out of a smaller series I worked on when still living in New York around 1995 through 1996.

I was looking for an approach and subject matter that could relate to everyday experiences and find a way to reflect upon daily culture, yet grounded within painting convention (landscape, still life). I began three series dealing with both the media and it's affects on narrative, sense of self, desires and perception and the automobile and it's effects on landscape, isolation and standardization.

So I did a series of 12 highway paintings. These were fairly straight-forward, nearly photorealist images of highways, with no rain distortion. I wanted to avoid any personally idiosyncratic, overly individualized or stylized approach to the work, because I felt that the anonymity of the images would be best served by a purely observational, realist approach. I was pleased with the paintings, but couldn't imagine where else to take them.

When I moved to Charlotte in 2002, (a near entire car dependent culture), it seemed to make sense to continue this idea. I had many more opportunities to photograph my daily commute, since I was now driving everyday and using a digital camera.

Images captured in the rain were purely coincidental at first. In fact, I dismissed them as unusable as they did not conform to the original concept. It took a while before I realized what I was seeing, and took a while longer still to convince myself to begin creating these types of paintings. But the distorted images seemed to say more about isolation and standardization than my original series. They raised questions about perception and not only suited to painted abstraction, but offered an opportunity to play with the convention of landscape painting. These characteristics finally motivated me to dive in. So the short answer to the question is—obsessive and random chance. (Pictured above: RED SUV, Turn Lane, oil on canvas, 32x48")

mM : Is there a style in the history of painting that influences or inspires your work? Please name art movements, artists or specific paintings of interest.

There are some that are probably fairly obvious when looking at my work - Turner, Pinkham Ryder, Corot, Monet, Chaim Soutine (pictured above), Zao Wou-ki (pictured below), Pollock; some who's influence may seem a bit more obscure; Rembrandt, El Greco, Stuart Davis, David Park, Vuillard, Morandi; and a few that would probably take too long to explain - The sculptors Andy Goldsworthy, Anish Kapoor and Maya Lin, and the composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Mozart, who make up more than half of my studio musical accompaniment. “Different lessons from different teachers.”

Most recently, I have been obsessed with one particular painting. A number of years ago, after having started the windshield series, I was back in New York visiting friends and spent a few days at the Met. I had seen Richard Pousette—Dart's "Symphony #1 the Transcendental" countless times since the opening of the Met's modern wing. On this occasion, it seemed as if I was seeing it for the first time. I was stuck in front of it for about 45 minutes. It has since become a model for me of tensions and contradictions in equilibrium and a visual musicality. Those basic ideas have become more and more important as I continue developing this series.

Kind thanks to Patrick Glover for taking time out and good luck with your new show, “Blurred Vision” at the Mindy Solomon Gallery on June 25 through July 30, 2011. Mindy Solomon Gallery is located at 124 2nd Avenue NE in St. Petersburg, Florida. Opening reception on Wednesday, June 29th with an artist talk at 6 to 6:30PM. Please contact Mindy Solomon for acquisition information. Press info.

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