Greg Holden Regan
The combination of abstract strokes and lines, coupled with words and text has fascinated me while creating this series of works. I wanted to give the shapes in the pieces more character through the use of text, while at the same time mix the abstract with the concrete, as if the paintings were drafts of plans or diagrams. The words seemed to help me realize / experience the pictures on a deeper level.
Creating art that incorporates the use of words and writing has helped me with my inhibitions with regards to writing in a public format. Growing up with dyslexia, it was intimidating to have other people read my writing. I knew there would be mistakes, and I became very self-conscious. Whether it was a spelling bee, writing on the chalkboard or, later on, writing a check, writing has always felt like a burden to me.
However, writing stories as a child in my private world was always an enjoyable thing for me. And I loved to read comic books. The archetypal merging of comic art and text, heroes and villains, completely captivated me. Comic art has recently become an inspiration to me once again as I begin to uncover the thread connecting my childhood struggles with my desire to create art with those struggles as a starting point. It is as if the difficulty has become the door to the flow of creativity and expression. As an artist, it has been quite amazing to realize how inspired I am to write in my work. The more this inspiration merges with the spontaneous strokes, the more I am connected with my art…the deeper I can sink into it.
In diving into this state of consciousness while creating the pieces for this series, I realized that the art was turning into a kind of abstract comic book scene. The thought bubble became an almost archetypal image of the expression of thoughts. And suddenly I was painting with chalkboard paint and the paintings were becoming an almost life-size comic book experience. This became a world in which I discovered a desire to interact with the viewers and I knew I had to ask them to participate in some way.
I realized I needed to share the experience of expression with words and pictures by making some of the pieces interactive. I am inviting the viewers to share their thoughts with words and drawings on the chalkboard paint of the selected paintings. I want to invite people into this world that I have discovered and I am very excited to see how other peoples’ words and drawings will change the paintings; thereby making them a community meeting place for expression. I hope that those who interact with the art will erase and add to the piece as they see fit and realize that the next person will do the same. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the paintings morph and change. I imagine that once this circulation starts to take place I might not want it to end. I hope that those who do interact with the paintings will share what they have created with me by posting pictures and/or videos on my Facebook page or tagging me in some form so we can experience the evolution of this exhibition together.