“Alternative Gravities” refers to a method Jonathan Ridge sometimes uses, of tilting, tipping and turning the surface of a painting to determine the direction of the paint, effectively using gravity as a tool. In these paintings that tease with glimpses of the tangible, an assumed worldly orientation of up and down is sometimes in question and because of the abstract territory, often arbitrary.
Cherry picking elements of eclectic visual influence, everything from Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Romanticism, even snatches from Urban Art and digital media, Ridge’s layered paintings owe as much to the advent of the layer function in Photoshop as a rich historical tradition in painting.
These Postmodernist arrangements of visual ‘noise’ describe busy environments, with the different references and paint effects competing for our attention. Elements fire off one another from edge to edge and front to back, as many layers of paint are employed in the spirit of experimentation, central to Ridge’s work.
The resultant rich palette of incidents and effects gives the viewer of these turbulent, but highly controlled compositions a great deal with which to actively engage.