Jon Reischl’s paintings are a fascinating combination of 21st techniques and early modernist aesthetics, his pictures an attempt to visualise a specific moment through surreal motifs and expressionistic colours, like a dream that begins rooted in a physical reality but quickly spins out of control into a visceral and tangential fusion of form, colour and narrative.
These pictures are continuing examination of how we process visual information and construct and organize memory, how we form whole narrative of a past reality through images, scraps of personal and collective memories, never sure whether the picture belongs to us or to something we have seen, read, watched. It is through this process of redefining the past through images that Reischel creates a surreal dreamscape, a meta narrative that we can all connect too.
Heavily influenced by Robert Rauschenberg’s assemblages, Marc Chagall’s wonderful visionary paintings and the social and conceptual movements such as Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop art, Reichel is always seeking to connect his expression as an artist with culture as a whole, his work forever looking to bridge the gap between the individual story and the repetitive narrative of human existence, of our search for meaning in the past, how we think, reason and remember. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
Working in layers with overlapping imagery, each new piece of information visually redefines and subjectively recontextualizes the existing shapes and lines. What start out as distinct images signifying moments, ideas, and all manner of empirical data, transform into something infinitely more complicated when compounded and considered together.
These paintings began as monochromatic digital compositions, made up of old photographs I collected combined with new photography I captured myself. I output the compositions onto paper in sections and, using thin layers of gel medium, transferred the imagery to either wood or canvas. Through this degradative process, details of the original images became lost or considerably distorted. I recomposed what remained by applying paint, recreating parts that had not survived, obscuring what no longer seemed relevant, and reinterpreting the compositions as a whole.