Sunday, April 6, 2008

Painting (work from the 80s)


Acrylic, silica on canvas
53" x 60" 1985
Corporate Collection
(Comptroller of the Currency, Chicago)
© Dennis
Guastella 1985

In this work I title "Overload", extruded lines of paint are applied with a fine nozzle applicator. Some lines were painted with acrylic and silica to produce a textured band of paint. Like other paintings in this series, I goal was to create a shallow space- an ambiguous space- by overlapping bands of paint. I discovered at the time that Lucas Samaras was constructing similar images by sewing patterns of material together.

I basically worked from the foreground to the background until there was no canvas surface visible. I like the idea that these painting were flat, yet by the illusion of overlapping planes, a layered space was formed. Individual bands of color weave in and out of the design. In one place it looks like it advances only to find in another area it rests behind.

As far as sales were concerned, this time when Corporate America collected art I was doing well. Not enough to make a living, but the sale of a few paintings a year helped to feed the passion. It would be just a few years later that the art consultant's work of placing art in public places began to dry up. I worked out of a gallery in Ann Arbor which only sold one piece of mine in five years. A corporate art consultant located in Chicago sold more of my works than through any other venue.

I showed this work at Oakland University in a two-artist show before it sold. This piece is one of my favorite works from that series. It truly became overloaded.

detail of "Overload"