Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Abnormal Canvas Growth

Abnormal Canvas Growth is a body of work that i created for my honours year at Queen's. Paintings, I think, ideally would be cheap. Many people who want paintings for their walls appreciate the look far more then the process. Paintings for them would simply be a blank canvas that you would hang on the wall and perhaps you leave it there for a while and by magic it would paint itself. I figure logically the only way that could happen is if the paint grew there.

When I was younger I always painted pictures of frogs. Frogs are weird. I thought it was incredible painting every detail of something so strange. The details made sense... in a weird way. I tirelessly like to invent. I always want my ideas to be like a frog: to be the strangest thing but somehow, through the details, it would make sense.

So I started with the one real thing about a painting, the fact that it is inescapably a painting. This work is an ecosystem on canvas. It is both beautiful and disgusting, as most wild things are. It shows the simplicity and complexity of growth as I have invented it. Colour, line and shapes appear on the canvas as if it had grown there. A terrarium of paint grows as the canvas decays. It’s almost like I discovered one day that paint would just start growing on canvases and by some stroke of luck I am the first with the chance to explore and draw it, study and learn from it. The paintings hold a balance of life and decay. Each element has its own goal but somehow they work together creating an environment. An environment that is as strange and outrageous as I could hope.

About 5 months into this project in addition to the creation of Abnormal Canvas Growth itself I began to create 'A Guide to Abnormal Canvas Growth'. I gave a name, a Latin name, a front and side drawing and a paragraph describing characteristics of 20 individual species of Abnormal Canvas Growth. This book was the icing on the cake, giving the viewer the ability to understand the complex details of the ecosystem. The gallery becomes something like bird watching or something you might find at the science centre.

The pictures are from the Queen’s University Bachelor of Fine Art Graduate Exhibition 2008: Brain nor Fools Face the Hours. And yes, I let the growths spread onto the walls. Enjoy.

Abnormal Canvas Growth
Inusitatissimus Pinxistirpis

Abnormal Canvas Growths are unfamiliar organisms that live primarily on heavy-duty plain-woven fabric. These organisms are based outside typical cell formation, on visual sensory values such as shape, line and colour. Generally Abnormal Canvas Growths have a tendency to reproduce aggressively increasing the value of the infected fabric.


jason said...

the concept for these is really interesting, i would have liked to see it in person.

the booklet is a nice touch too

- jason <3

Tauma'oe said...

wow these are trippy. so now im a bit confused. are these infact REAL organisms? if they are..crazy. if theyre not, CRAZY. good stuff though either way.

Andrea Gerstmann said...

They don't grow on their own. I just pretend they do.

Tooninator said...

Wow Andrea.....I had seen one pic of one painting I think on facebook. These pics are SO much more revealing. Really sweet display. And the book is top-notch. Well played.

Junyu Zhao-(JUMONJIE) said...

wo~!!!! amazing.thx for bring up those ha thats crazy ~~!~!!