This is Fred Henzel....
And this is what he says....I believe that images as we know them are only a part of a continuous surface. Human beings don’t perceive individual images in isolation, but rather we see the relationships between those images and develop an opinion of the situation as a whole.
When you go to Trader Joe’s, you don’t see an apple, a tray of sushi, and a frozen enchilada, rather you see the homey, artsy, co-op- like atmosphere that Trader Joe’s is trying to project. Then, you have to put effort into squeezing out of that store the individual items you want. And it doesn’t stop there: you look at the enchilada when you get it from the frozen foods section, and it has crazy little designs all over it that remind you of the Aztecs. You are looking at the expression which is telling you about the context you are in.
The designs don’t make any sense on their own, and neither does the enchilada, or the apple, or the tray of sushi, but in the context of Trader Joe’s, and Chicago, and Illinois, and the United States, and the World, it does make sense. Therefore, the images are part of a continuous surface, a larger situation.
The important thing is always looking for the human side of every situation. Jeff Koons said it best: art is all about people. There are two sides of everything: the distraction and the essence.
That’s what Patterns and Portraits means to me. The Pattern is the continuous fabric that leads your mind outward into the greater understanding of the universe, connecting your mind to disparate concepts. The Portrait is the human being that is behind every idea. As we grow older, we have no choice but to contribute to the Pattern in order to stay alive, but inside of our minds we must always strive to get back to the Portrait, the way the world seemed when we were kids.
To see more of his work check out his blog, and don't forget to come to the Patterns & Portraits show this March 12th!