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Themes and Motifs in Painting 2010-2011


     There is the body and there is the figure. There is a distance and there is what has passed. There are the genitals which are smeared and undefined and there is the body and there is the figure. And the body is reclined (in an ancient way) and the figure is erect (in an ancient way). There is the face which has dissolved and there is the body (also dissolved). Behind the face is the skull and the skull along with the face makes up the head. And the head is a form that will expand until body-sized. And the head is a form that will expand until wall-sized and it will expand further until all cells have separated and dispersed. And there is the ocean. And it is a setting and a scene and a distance.


     There is the head (it is now body-sized) and there is its transformation (transformation is continuous). There is a full body of water filled constantly with channels flowing into and out of it (this is the body filled with water). There is matter shifting (an alteration) and there is movement between finite and infinite states. This is both the ancient act and the modern act. 


     There is action in a setting and there is action in an image. There is what the body does and there is what it is capable of. There is the head and the form and the figure and there is what overflows from the form and figure and into the scene (also being the environment, the room, or another object in proximity). There is the same head and the same genitalia (being smeared) and there is the expression (also smeared) approaching the quality of a face. There is no immediate entrance and no direct gaze. There is only a series of holes and the head positioned in a slant. And the slant suggests the form in action and the smear suggests the form's expression (and action) but in both cases the appearance of one state is in reality another (the form moving much too fast to perceive). There is the body and there is the bridge. And this is one structure combined with another, being built as well as biological. 


     There is a head on top of a bridge and a cloth on top of the head. Inside the cloth is a thought and inside the thought is an image. And the head is open and the cloth is open and one flows into and out of the other. There is on top of the head as a site and under the cloth as a form and under the bridge as a place. There is the inside of the cloth and its limitation and there is inside the skull and its limitation. There is inside the eyes and inside the mouth and there is inside the nose, ears, ass, and genitalia. And inside the brain is a thought and inside the thought is an image. There is inside the hole and inside the hat and there is within the brain and outside the skin. And there is a thin membrane between both and the universe passes through it and it passes itself into the universe. 


     On the outside is an image and on the inside is also an image. And there is a square (with defined edges) and the image is within the square. There is a form that is like a silhouette and also like an absence. And in being like a hole it is also a form and in being like a form it is also an image. There are defined edges for observation and there is an expanse beyond the frame.  There is the frame and its necessity for perceiving what is (possibly) infinite, like a form expanding continuously. And like the edges of the body (containing expansive energy) it is a unit of measurement and comprehension. One must understand the body as a finite structure with infinite dimensions, not in a supernatural sense, but metaphysically being like a series of reverberations out into other bodies, objects, forms. There is action (movement) as a permeation into other bodies and there is thought (movement) as a permeation into other forms. There is movement as a permeation into surrounding molecules and this is a body that expands affecting another expanding body. There is the old city and the remnants of past civilizations and there is the new city and the universe inside of the brain. There is the universe inside the eye and all of history inside the silhouette. It is a line traced in the shape of a skull and a single structure and a double structure (continuously). It is both material and biological, both built and grown. It is the finger tracing the shape of the skull and the head fully expanded (and house-sized). It is a unit of measurement, a pattern, and a design. 


      And the ancient body and the modern body are the same. And the square body and the edgeless body are the same. And the body was on the beach and it is in the world. It was on the water and it is now (due to weight) on the ocean floor. There is what occurs on the ocean floor and there is what occurs to an object under pressure. The body is crushed and the face is crushed and the image is altered but its meaning is continuous. And the energy expressed drifts out into other bodies and above the surface. And so there is the painting and so there is the image. And the image is a blank image and the painting is a painted one and then there is the body and it has been transformed. And there is on the beach and there is on the surface and there is on the floor. And what is above this but a series of further reaching surfaces. 


     And so there is no void. I mentioned what could be an absence but there is no void (only entrances and exits). There is only the reverberation of all lives past presently moving forward. There is energy that has shifted and there is the square body both as entrance and as exit. There is the painting (the square body), there is the body in action, and there is the screen as a face. This is a structure for smaller structures and there is its transformation (as action and as image). These are the bodies, like buildings, that inhabit and are inhabited and these are sites of reverberation. There are holes placed in the body that fill and do filling and there are holes placed in the body (and also in the surface) as passages of thought and matter. What is internal becomes external and what is externally compressed becomes internally formed. And the painting is the face and the screen and it is the wall and it also contains passages. And the painting is the inside and it is the outside and the body is the same and this exists for reflection. It is a screen for thought and a mirror. It is a reflection of the expanded body and an expansion into the separating face. It is the body as a passage and it passes from object to object and from viewer to viewed.


Ian Trout, Los Angeles, 2015


Themes and Motifs in Painting 2012 

        Above the water, the body's shape is maintained, its internal fluids apply force equal to the pressure outside. Below the water, the body's shape (vertical form) is forced horizontal as increased pressure outside causes compression of the form. The legs are crushed, the skull is flattened and the shoulders are pressed parallel with the pelvis, thighs and feet. This is an object acted upon by the intensity of its environment. This is an image with pressure applied and the compression is a gesture. 

        There is meaning derived from images as well as from objects and there is experience (of image and object) derived spatially. One does not exclude the other but they also do not require concurrent consideration. The image can be distinct from the object and the object may be distinct from the image but the image may be the object and the object may contain the image and the body may be outside the object as well as inside, being at the center of all these elements.

       There is the painting's scale and there is the scale of the viewer. Both painting and viewer are contained within the scale of the space. There are further scales to consider within the container of the body but the painting is only broken into its component parts which are so few as to be insignificant. The painting does not have inner containers except the distance between the front of the canvas and the depth of its support (being as small as is reasonable and concluding at the wall). The space includes a number of internal containers which must be recognized and often the motif must be adjusted accordingly. The space is an example of pressure applied to the image or motif. There is the body in relation to the canvas, the canvas in relation to the room, and the room in relation to the space between all three (the space around the image being like the space surrounding the body). There is the center of a building and there is the center of a room as well as the center of the image and the center of the body. These centers will often not coincide but they should be considered as they may all be drawing the body in many directions and toward many centers).

        There is direct experience and objects perceived through periphery. There are images that dissolve upon direct gaze and elements that expand upon contemplation. And in the diagram of ancient bodies, the transformation from body to building and from building to object is apparent as the body transforms between substance, symbol and sign. There was phenomena depicted in the past and presently there are billboards for this effect. As the centers multiply, the phenomena accelerates and the body, at the center of the experience, must adjust rapidly. This is the body with pressure applied.

        There was the division of the head previously and there is now also the division of the body. There is the division of the object and there are objects dividing the space. The divisions being lines, suggest a shape and the shapes suggest a form. And by the division of the surface (previously a monochromatic field) an image is discerned and by the division of the space, a constellation.   

Ian Trout, Los Angeles, 2018