Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Artist Spotlight - Hooper Turner

"I love and hate advertising. Advertising targets suckers, the naïve consumers who are convinced they can purchase the fantasies in the richly printed catalogs or imagine themselves the protagonist of arousing editorial spreads in fashion magazines. 
The truth is that desire doesn’t function rationally; I can’t sit calmly analyzing the semiotics of commercial imagery, carefully dissecting the palette of references that some photographer and creative director have decided will sell the season’s line.
Like every other sucker, I get too involved. I have to make paintings of the images that fascinate me and of the many objects I can’t afford. By painting them, spending many hours looking and remaking, I learn the image, explore the details, and hope to see the pictures with new eyes.
 The paintings become larger than the source and much more materially present. Sometimes I notice the Old Master reference in the pose or the unforeseen crops and strange angles found only in photographs. I wonder why the doorknob for purchase looks so much like a piece of coral instead of like a doorknob. I wish I knew what the woman with her head turned away is contemplating and realize that if someone were voyeuristically watching me, they would see me in the same absorbed reverie.
I am honest with my paintings and paint what I like. They are not my private vision but rather a collection of our ideals and archetypes. I often include the text, which can create a dissonant note when juxtaposed with the image. 
Words and pictures coexist in tension, and the strain is intensified in a painting. In the best of my paintings, the stress is enough to force both artist and viewer to confront our desires. Rather than anxiously judge them, we learn more about ourselves". - Hooper Turner,March 2011

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