BRETT DePALMA, RECIPIENT OF ROCKLAND COUNTY, NEW YORK, COUNTY EXECUTIVE "VISUAL ARTIST OF 2013" AWARD
I am making visual puzzles of a sardonic, satirical. psychedelic, arcane nature with a psycho-social synthesis. Once solved, they reveal images conjuring familiar universal truths, found in everything from nature to music and ultimately reaching to the human condition.
People, places and things are the subjects of my art. They need no explanation in order to exist; that would be like having to explain jazz. Ideas such as these are best apprehended in experiencing the thing in all of its inexplicability, much like a person's existence.
My work is a reflection of the world filtered through myself, and as such, has no rules as pertains to ways of proceeding. Artistic freedom is introduced to enable different modes of thinking, thus advancing the cause of aesthetic evolution through diversity of expression. My goal is to open possibilities rather than restricting freedoms, not to do this as opposed to that. I am to discover and express the depth of character and thought that makes for a richer domain from which springs a more authentic view of life.
Because art is a form of truth-telling, it has the power to reveal eternal and universal mysteries. I am continually learning how to proceed into the unknown and new. As a result, the awkward and somewhat primitive look that my work contains is an extension of confronting doubt, rather than avoiding it. My art is intentionally funky in order to represent improvisation and the stretch towards unformulated solutions. It is the embracing of the impure and even failure itself. I prefer the raw as well as the refined. Each composition is a composite of contradictory elements. I am allowing the conflicting hard edges and soft forms, sensuality and roughness, humorous and dark to coexist; to stand-in for real life in all its quirkiness.
I make anxious abstractions from the tension between the physical body interacting with the space it inhabits and the objects it encounters. I feel that these material combinations and their symbolic ramifications represent the current moment in America with all of its constant influx of information and lack of solidity. The fragmentation of current experience, the lack of uniform context, the end of traditions and creation of new ones, is the content of contemporary education. If anything, I am learning through my art to open doors onto my own interior treasury of perceptions about living in the world. My work ultimately addresses cognition and learning in order to think of art as a visually symbolic language with cultural significance and inherent value.