I spent hours in the studios of Todd Bienvenu, Katherine Bradford, Jim Herbert, Arnold Mesches and Karen Schwartz, discussing their work and their commitment to, and belief in, the continued relevancy and meaning of painting. Their bodies of work are quite divergent, but all of these artists are relentless in locating imagery that comes out of the way they experience life, and each of them is deeply involved with painting’s many processes and materialities.
While their work in some cases uses irony, sarcasm and humor (and can share the “mash-up” of the first generation of Post-Modern Painters with the current trends of Meta Painting), what separates these painters from the current trends of Meta Painting—such as New Casualism, New Mannerism and Provisional Painting—is that there is absolutely nothing ironic or casual about their immersion in the act of painting, in both its process and material matter.
I believe unabashedly in the power of Painting to reaffirm the sanctity of the individual in the face of new media, in this age of the Digital/Meta. I believe in painting defined by the process of painting, for the sake of itself as a vehicle of self-expression. Indeed, I would even say that painting has greater meaning in these times.
Michael David 10-14-13