Monday, January 19, 2009

Empty is the New Full

I'm taking a break from blogging about the Homeless Chateau, as a few other sites have it covered. There's a thought-provoking post on Where, the excellent urbanism blog, titled "Posh to be Poor." Among other things, the writer proposes letting homeless people live in empty mansions, and there's a link to a Fox News story about the homeless moving into foreclosed homes.

I've been talking a bit about my paintings, so here's a bit more background on those, lifted verbatim from my site, so apologies if you've already read it:

In 1985, I worked as a laborer in southern Portugal for three months. while I was there, I painted squares on rocks, trees, car body parts and construction materials, inspired in part by Kasimir Malevich's 1917 painting, "Suprematist Composition: White on White." I continued to use the square as an art-specific tag, branding my own work and found works by other artists, both known and unknown, for about fifteen years.

My transition from squares to ovals in 1999 came out of a desire to create a less art-historical, yet equally universal "logo." I took a circle – perhaps the most universal of symbols, representing infinity and wholeness in many cultures – and stretched it vertically by the distance of the radius. The resulting hard-edge, straight-sided oval shape is a hybrid circle-square, a filled in zero.

"Nothingness" is not a negative concept to me. In mathematics the minus sign is the negative; the zero represents emptiness and absence, the baseline for all calculations, and the place where all sums go to die or be reborn tenfold. The "on-off-on-off" of the binary system of ones and zeros illustrates how essential zero is – "1" would be nothing without "0." Zero shows up in other numbers, but no other digit represents the departure of all the rest or the empty moment before they arrive.

More "zeros," like the one above, here.

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