Trompe l'Oeil Painted Constructions by Ron Isaacs

American artist Ron Issacs designed delicate-looking trompe l’oeil garments using layers of Finnish birch plywood.

"My three primary recurring subjects are vintage clothing (for the way it continues the life of the past into the present, for its rich structures and colors and shapes, and for its anthropomorphic presence as a stand-in for the figure); plant materials in the form of sticks, leaves, and flowers (for too many reasons to list); and found objects. They combine in appropriate or surprising juxtapositions, sometimes purely as a visual “poem” of sorts and (if I’m lucky) sometimes as an image with real psychological resonance. Objects occasionally reappear in other contexts and take on new meanings, like a repertory company of actors playing different roles in different plays."

"My basic technique of building elaborate relief constructions of Finnish birch plywood and painting them in trompe l'oeil fashion has its own deep satisfactions of process and problem- solving, but it also serves as a means of understanding the objects and creating the images I want to deal with."

"The risk is that the piece may fall into simple-minded mimesis and nostalgia."

"These works grew gradually out of self-assigned painting problems to become a hybrid about halfway between painting and sculpture. The construction of a piece usually requires about half the work and the painting the other half."

"While a good deal of sanding is involved, they are not carved, as such, but constructed; it is much more an additive than a subtractive process. My strategy is to build as much of the detail of the surface as I can without making myself crazy, then to rely on the paint to carry the rest of the illusion."

"I am still fascinated by the old simple idea of resemblance, the very first idea of art after tools and shelter: That an object made of one material can take on the outward appearance and therefore some of the "reality" of another. (It is little wonder that art quickly became allied with magic.) "

Isaacs will have several new pieces on view at Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia starting May 2, 2014.

Source: snyderman-works


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