Refractory Statement

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I never learned to crawl as a child but at some point just stood up and walked. This is not to boast, for this developmental skip resulted in a significant left-brain/right-brain disjuncture. It is a gap I now bridge through painting. I might have become a painter with or without this dysfunction. But of one thing I am certain: my “dis/ability” has had a pronounced influence on how I engage with the world through art. To meet my experience of dislocation, I’ve felt compelled to throw my whole body into the act of painting. I’ve learned to paint, for example, with both hands. But this not about action painting, or Rorschach symmetry. These paintings map the trajectories of energy and communication involved in both my medical condition and my responses to it. My approach is raw and intuitive—and painterly in the sense that I am able to let paint be paint. It can drip and flow and catch the eye, for it has own pathways too. Bright drips spanning dark, cavernous hollows are just that; but they also form a map or index of the play of neurons in the cerebellum of a differently-abled person. My work addresses issues of discomfort, fragmenting visual space in ways that reflect my perception of reality and communicating my private experience. For me, every approach to the canvas is an effort to place my vision of the world before the eyes of an able-bodied spectator. I will sometimes employ, for example, bright colours and a light glaze to generate a vibratory effect or visual disturbance that enables viewers to experience, firsthand, my own sense of dislocation and confusion. Colour is also used in ways that draw some spaces forward and push others back. The surface, I then notice, seems to be breathing slowly, as if in counterpoint to the effort and strain I am feeling—arms outstretched—in my attempt to map the surface with my body.

Where it's been: This piece was shown in the summer emerging arts exhibition at Gallery 1313 in the the summer of 2018 with it's counterpart Bird's Eye.

24" x 36" x 1.5"

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Additional Details

About the artist
About the artist

My Name is Sam Kasirer-Smibert. I had my first solo show in November of 2015 entitled Atro Versiamo at the Victoria Hall art gallery in Westmount Montreal. I received a Bachelor's of Fine arts specializing in Painting and drawing this year 2019 from Concordia University. I am also part of a Montreal, ... View full profile

Westmount, Québec
Partial artist since 2019

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