Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Music by Daniel Glass Trio.
Jennifer Faist, June 2014. When someone who's never seen my work asks for a quick description of what my paintings look like, I usually tell them, "Pattern and Decoration meets Finish Fetish." While stylistic stereotypes fall short of describing the many nuances in my work, I do tend to satisfy my urge to feminize the Minimalists I admire by sweetening the Cool School's clean aesthetic of finish and craftsmanship with the feminine touch of adornment.
Also, rather than the dispassionate, "What you see is what you see" maxim, my work embodies the more feminine habit of alluding to sentiment and memories. When making my paintings, I choose colors and patterns that have personal significance and relate to specific events, people or places. Many of the patterns in the paintings come from textile designs from my clothes or from the apparel of those close to me. I associate what I wear with what I do, and I save each ensemble as a reminder—a habit I picked up from my mother who recently passed away. Recently, I went through her photos preparing for her wake and noticed many outfits I remember seeing in her closet decades later—bikinis from a Hawaiian vacation, the dress from her engagement party, a jacket from a trip to Mexico. Our closets are treasure troves of memories, and, as every garment is a reminder, every painting of these fabric patterns serves as a memento. The trompe l’oeil patterns buried in the depths of the paintings spark reflection on remnants of the past, but also, the shiny surfaces literally reflect fragments of their present surroundings and the viewers themselves.
For more info on Eric Minh Swenson or project inquiries visit his website: thuvanarts.com. You can also visit the art film series page at thuvanarts.com/take1