In February of last year, I began excavating the subconscious in search of my own story; the triggers, motivations and intended purpose of my work (if any). I wanted to discover my meaning, as the person behind the expression. Though, before anyone asked or wanted to know about it… I hardly cared. (read Who is Michael Torres? for the backstory)

A year later, the simple process of Commitment (to the search), and the not-so-simple process of observation (recognizing stimuli and tendencies), analysis (of early work), experimentation (with promotion and presentation), formulating a hypothesis (about how I fit into the puzzle), testing it (in the market), and modifying suppositions (to begin the cycle again),  has unearthed more than I could have imagined. But, because the full scope of these findings is too extensive to be properly addressed in one long entry, let us begin with the basics first, instead: The what, when, and why (continued below)

Excavation

When did I realize I was an artist?

Well… the honest answer is that I think I’ve always “known” (instinctually) that I was an artist. Since childhood, in fact, already practicing my signature, I was somehow imbued with a sense of that calling. And, although not fully developed or fully recognized at an early age, destiny has guided me through a slow transformation that has ultimately become an awakening.

Why do I paint?

It would also be easy to say that I simply paint out of necessity. Because, it is true. But I never would have understood the full extent of the “Why” if I hadn’t revisited my early work. Because, as I proposed in a previous entry (Who is Michael Torres?), I don’t know if it’s possible for any of us to fully comprehend our own motivations (though we may act on them) when we are still at the heart of those experiences, immersed in them, moment to moment.

The journey backward, on the other hand, has proven immensely useful, because it forced me to step out of my own shoes to investigate the root of my own intentions as a tourist who has been removed from the center of the past by the passage of time. And that journey has substantiated a fundamental truth about the nature of my work; That the creative process is my way of filtering my life experience; not purely for its own sake, but to allow the exploration of my own condition to serve as a key in deciphering and understanding the shared phenomenon of our sentience (as conscious beings).

Artistic expression is the only way I know how to make sense of the world around me, as well as the world within; my own emotions and proclivities. But, at times, painting is also purely cathartic… a necessary release that simply enables me to continue through the wilderness of this lifetime unencumbered by the past or by the weight of current circumstances, even if those burdens are only momentarily lifted (by deflection). The act of release and its ensuing reprieve still purchase stamina, an emotional steadiness, and a sense of composure that allows me to scrutinize the event of Life on more secure footing.

What my paintings are about

Although my own encounter with life is the source… the primary subject in my work is the Human Experience (in general), which overlaps on common grounds and is shared. My approach has always been “to understand” this encounter, whether hit or missed through the work itself. I seek essence and vitality. And I seek to express what it simply means to be human, through a visual interpretation of the senses, where the imagery is the language. Though, whether the work speaks to you or not… I can only hope.

Either way, the lexicon grows. And, although spoken silently (through shapes, colors, and textures), through refinement and repetition, it is also given meaning. But more important than what the work hypothetically represents, it’s true significance rests in the fact that when the image has enough gravity to draw you in, it truly becomes your own internal dialogue and a shared experience whose meaning is purely subjective. The work becomes your story to tell, just as rightfully as it is mine, because you recognize the expression (even if only vaguely) and are now part of that conversation.

Conflicted_Forms

 

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