Paul Edward Pinkman
“I have always worked largely traditional materials – canvas, paper, paint, ink, etc. The basis of the surface sets up limitations from the outset. If it’s oil and other materials on canvas, the materials set parameters for how things will go. Next, I start each group of works with a concept. Nothing is tabula rasa. But what always happens in the act of producing, or creating, takes on a life of its own. I have never produced a piece of art that looked like what I thought I was going to make. I work intentionally with my left hand, often placing strokes and lines backwards to override the penmanship I learned in school as a boy. Each work within a group has its own self-generated identity. Yet they all work together as in a conversation. Ironically, at the point they are completed, I have no expectation as to what they really say and instead wait to hear from others with their reactions. It’s at this point that I see what the works might be about.”
The art of Paul Edward Pinkman is an examination of the relationship between identity and the things surrounding us. His work surfaces ideas of immediacy and intention. Starting with a personal intent, his work depicts a concept, usually through several pieces. Subsequently, he elicits how it is being understood by people viewing it, whether by means of distributed or common ideas. His works are imbued with influences of his long-term Buddhist meditation practice and his study of philosophical and analytical thought, such as that of deconstructionist, Jacques Derrida.
By thinking we know what we are looking at and how to interpret its various parts, each of us, as viewers, creates his works. The underlying basis for all the works from the artist’s perspective is there is nothing inherent or continuous about them. They are, of course, materials. They have form, both fundamental and drawn or painted. But the resulting images are always just referential. The form changes over time. The meaning changes over time.
His work is at its best when it illustrates something that makes the viewer question why. “When someone looks at a piece of mine and is confused or discomforted by it, that’s when it’s at its most successful.” Sometimes, horizontal and vertical elements are placed to stabilize the images. These bars, stripes, horizons, etc., provide the handle to latch onto. Mr. Pinkman strives to capture his own dissatisfaction about our connection to everyday experience. To do so each work starts with an intention which is then left to resolve itself. There is always a beginning but the ending is less clear.