It was dirty and glowed florescent, very physical, like the New York City I remember. Can a painting retain the memory of a specific place? This is a question that fuels my work, at a time where loss is everywhere. I think of painting as a container, a world where images, colors, feelings, and form can coalesce into an object.
When will the flow of images end? Now that time no longer exists we can focus on space. I wanted to make SPACE in these paintings. I was thinking of a space that expanded and contracted, that was infinite, that was like a galaxy inside a galaxy. Visual phenomena are everywhere if you just look; and it is often quite surprising. Fact: Three stray cats and a possum live outside my studio building in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Fiction: I converse with these animals about Buddhist philosophy daily.
Chartreuse. A color that you can also drink. An invention of the 19th century. Organic meets industrial. This summer I lived for 2 weeks at a residency in Elizabeth Murray’s upstate studio. I visited a primordial beaver lake every night and read by moonlight. I thought about baby boomers and Tinder and the strong colors that Elizabeth was in love with. I suppose I was trying to make a fire from all that excess energy floating around the barn and the heart-shaped pond.
Paintings cannot be mediated. Meditate on that for a minute. Everyday magic still exists: the black circles on the sidewalk are ancient pieces of chewing gum. Walking on Verona Street in Red Hook is romantic, it’s all in the name. Now that I’m plugged into the machine will I find happiness in community? Don’t answer that. Please keep your eyes open for possums and other moments of chartreuse.
- Nora Griffin, October 2018
This show is dedicated to the artist Anita Thacher.