Augustus Goertz | Artist Statement
I’m an artifact maker, very involved in process. I work in series. Each series has an overriding conception. Within the confines of this trajectory, I leave a lot of room for improvisation and experimentation during the creative act. Trying to push the limits of what paint or other chemicals can do. Everything that makes a mark or a stain, I consider paint. There is definitely a physicality to my work. The tracks and trails of my work are meant to be apparent. Likewise in my photographic work, the moments of creation are imprinted. I approach everything from a painter’s point of view. Even photography, the art of the infinite image, is made so that not only that moment snapped by the camera is caught, but also the moment of production.
Painting is, among other things, philosophy made manifest. One can say, the artist works in the area just ahead of the scientist, like a scout.
In series, such as Scratch, Scars and Beauty Marks; Tracks And Trails; Inner Landscapes; Floor Space; and Quantum, I allow the painting for painting’s sake to take over, so that the unconstrained limitless power of painting- to convey the infinite and even the eternal- is at play. The very texture of the universe. The topography of desire. The love, the emotion, the commotion of what fills the void, can be shown using this basic, ancient method of communication, painting.
The Faces series explores the idea of the soul and the possibility of contemporaneous existence. For instance, after a person dies, is there at least some electro magnetic reverberation of the personality left lingering to be found by the discerning artist? Given a blank canvas, is it possible to make portraits of these unseen personalities? Of course, they just could be figments of my imagination. That’s why the series is called Inner Portraits.
With the Liquid Nudes series, I’m after that sensuality of memory. In the same way, the architectural, photo processed (painting with chemicals) series has a sense of this lover nearly lost but kept at the edge of destruction by memory.
In the three dimensional series, called Modern Archeology, the inherent theme is the built in obsolescence of our society- looking at our technological consumer products as antiquities discovered 150 million years from now.
In the End of War Series, the idea is in the name and in the titles, The Soldiers Fortune, The Playing Field, The Putting Green. We learn, as we play with our toys, to accept war. The soldiers would rather be playing on a field for sport, but find themselves in the far less than glorious field of battle. We can no longer afford war to decide differences. I hope in spite of the “dark” subject that a certain optimism for the future comes through.
In the end, I feel a kinship with all the painters who ever lived, all the way back to the cave painters, who must have stood at the mouth of the cave and, staring at the studded starry sky- imagined all.Augustus Goertz - 2012