Whether we are talking cosmically, spiritually, or both it is not the presence of alternate realities bu the shifty space between them that I find so fascinating.
In my paintings, the objects I insert into fictive narratives are usually mundane, but arranged or combined in a way that makes them almost talismanic. They serve as conduits to other worldly experiences or serve as meditations on larger ideas. My emphasis is on how encounters with the everyday have the potential to be revelatory. Some pieces push the depiction of reality, but our reality is never abandoned for the interior world of surrealist illogic. It might be weird, but there is a logic there.
I break into each piece through an intuitive idea about the type of light and color that is in the painting. That is unearthed from the get go-either as a preconceived idea or through the exploration of colored grounds in the first painting stages. I only then set up analogues to that sense of light in the studio for observational purposes. In the process of observation I make sure to let the palpability of the light as paint or paint as light translate in a surprising way. Some images are more preconcieved than others. But at the time when I start to know what kind of landscape or objects occupy the space I make sources via a micro sculptural investigation or I gather photographic sources. Part of the process is editing things in and out of the painting as I go. I let paint guide me to making a spectacular sense of light and atmosphere, but I think I kill the magic in it when I work to closely with a source or even a memory. With something like Swarm Cusp Nocturne I try to show bright daylight and night sky in the same painting. The transition between those two extremes was solved through intuition and experimentation. No source can help you depict something so impossible.
Right now in the studio I’m making work for my next solo show at Rare in NYC this coming December. For the paintings I’m making for that show I am using imagery and experiences from my travels to the Ballearic island, Menorca, Spain and throughout Scotland. The ancient ruins of early civilizations in each location are of interest to me. I am thinking about how the ruins are interpreted as ritualistic and early forms of religion (ie Recumbant Stone circles, Taulas, Talayots, and runes), and I am imagining how they could be reactivated by contemporary people without a real understanding of their histories.
Christine Gray is represented by Rare Gallery in New York and Project 4 Gallery in DC.
Her work is currently featured in the most recent art book put out by Beautiful/Decay Book 8: Strange Daze. They are available here: http://beautifuldecay.com/shop/paperback-books/333-beautiful-decay-book-8.html