Jonathan Gardner

Region: Midwest

My paintings are generated from automatic drawings and torn collages whose shapes, made from drawn lines or torn edges, reference figurative and abstract characters that are products of my unconscious and my responses to art history.

I subvert the directness of the automatic drawings and collages chosen for their formal and psychic qualities by transferring them into the language of realism. This creates an illusion of transparent directness that is, paradoxically, achieved through a careful process of reproduction.

The paintings refer to modernist notions of drawing and flatness by representing two-dimensional drawings and their supports via trompe l’oeil painting methods that acknowledge yet undermine the flatness of the picture plane. The result is a still life, both deadpan and comic, that explores the uncertainties of expression and process.