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© 2019 by Paul Germain. 

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ARTIST STATEMENT

 

Since childhood I have been fascinated by history, archeology and the relationship we had to the natural world. I suppose this curiosity might have manifested itself as a career in science or something equally rational. However, coming from a family of artists (my mother and grandfather were both artists) I felt most comfortable in the arts. As these interests  -  history, archeology and art  -  merged, it seemed quite natural to use art as my means to explore these same questions that intrigued me. The painted figures in the caves at Lascaux provide a testament to the fact that our genetic biography impels us towards this. I feel as related to those first artists as to my own mother and grandfather.

 

In my work I attempt to investigate our connections to the natural world using gestural, multi-directional brush strokes, mark-making and surface texture. The implication is one of transparency, depth, physicality and interchange. This view of nature is simultaneously micro and macro - are we viewing our universe through a microscope or a telescope? For me, this look at the natural world is a visceral one - adding an element of emotion, energy and sensation to intellect.

 

The titles of painting series like “Chaos Theory” and “Fuzzy Logic,” refer to the apparent disorder within order found throughout the universe, even built into certain computer programs to replicate this randomness. I find some degree of delight in the fact we are not in total control and must ultimately yield to forces beyond our governing. My challenge in creating these works is to find the balance between the chaos and the order.

 

My paintings owe much to such masters as Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin and Warren Rohrer. I admire their ability to say so much with so little. Their work is, to me, quite prayer-like.

 

If art can be many things simultaneously, my paintings are equal parts science and music. Minimalist composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich and John Adams have been constant companions in my studio. The paradox of their limited palette and manic underlayment of rhythms influence my work to a great degree, as does the contemplative and deceptively simple nature of  compositions by eastern European composers Arvo Part and Henrik Gorecki.

 

Ultimately, the affinity I feel for these disciplines is not due to any ability to fully understand them. It is their inherent magic that intrigues me. It is the very same magic that I find in painting.