"With all of the great painters, Cezanne, Matisse, the subject matter was only a means to make the painting. What the painting is about is paint on a surface."--Robert Ryman at Cheekwood, June, 1996

My work is.    My work is about the properties of paint itself rather than the transformation of the paint into a recognizable image or code. My work is about color. My work is about texture. My work is about space and voids. My work is about time recording the strokes and design of the painting. My work is a recording of this process. But despite the apparent reverence/s toward the "object"ryman1996, my painting/s also create moods, don't they? Instead of creating the traditional illusion of space within the painting, my canvases become objects that extend into the physical and mental realm of the viewer. I call them mirrors because I believe that my paintings act like mirrors in the real world… reflecting the inner self of the observer as he/she stands in front of them (or it). They are a self-to-self conversation. They are a self-to-self argument. They are a self-to-self reflection. I also think that my paintings are contemplation devices, reflection devices, devices that form a spiritual realm and speak a language so personal to a viewer that only he/she can understand it. Out of a hermetic and private construction process in my studio is born a universal set of truths for me and from me to you and for you - the-universal-dazzling-self-mirror. Let's just call it tudsm.

Other news: I make approximately one painting per month. This is what is left after the trashings. I also from time to time take rather long respites from painting. I simply don't feel like painting… so I don't. I call these periods hiatus. I think a lot, write a lot, pace a lot, sleep a lot during the hiatus periods. One doesn't always have to be thrashing at a canvas with paint on a brush to be creative!

On any given day I hate my paintings. I think they exist on a level with shit. The next day I love them. Go figure?

I don't know why I have located in my mind that to be a good artist one must show a consistency in the output. At times I think that this is nothing more than a rubboff from the commercial side of this business… change is not good for sales… it is disruptive… so they say. Then again I feel that when I paint the same image over and over [make small changes from one piece to the next] the whole process becomes boring for me and I'd rather do something else. The resulting art is also boring, non-communicative and uninteresting. For me, my art must continue probing possibility. This is the meat of the work. The changing is confusing to the commercialists. Hmmmmm. What do I do? Then again my work has been successful within the commercialist realm. WhY? The director was very savvy, dug what I was doing, beat the bushes and sold the work. It was (and can be) just that simple. I don't think any art sells itself. Especially if it is art and not kitch-crap-imagery.

David Novak 01.13.04
Matthews, NC