Joanie Holleb

Joanie Holleb
ARTIST STATEMENT My paintings occupy an unusual place between painting and sculpture, between process and image, between poetry and narrative. The three-dimensional qualities of my work sets it apart from most paintings, generating the unexpected effect of slowing down our gaze and causing us to look carefully at the small events on the surface of the work. I begin a painting by selecting a pristine sheet of copper. I then bend, fold, crimp and hammer the copper until the dimensional, tactile qualities of the surface become compelling to me. I begin the act of painting by using a patina solution, pouring it on the bent, distressed surface of the copper and letting it run in various directions. In some cases, the patina will end up being covered, but more often, it dictates the direction the composition will develop. This use of chance and spontaneous activity becomes the foundation for all that follows. While images from nature often appear in my work, the imagery can just as easily be derived from art history as from my own observations. Quotations from favorite Old Master works can be found buried in many of the paintings, sometimes hidden behind layers of imagery and paint, always woven into the visual fabric of the painting thereby setting and sharing the stage with observed nature. The resulting paintings are compelling and ambitious mediations on time, history, beauty and our relationship to the natural world. My paintings read almost as artifacts of a fictional history that we don’t remember but still believe.