I make pictures to mark my route, to discuss visually what it is to be human, to be conscious, to be self-conscious. I make direct reference and illusion to the icons, patterns and conventions of past enlightenment, borrowing from a palette of historical art and artists the way one might use an old piece to furnish a new house, not unlike consulting a dictionary before rearranging old words into new phrases. I like the frankness of line, shape and perspective that happen when ideas retain a sense of instinct, just before they’re named and know their places, still there on the threshold, before they are confident and correct, before they begin to imitate themselves.
I consider my pictures devotional stations, sideshows, performances to attract, engage and entertain. I explore the comedy of belief, searching a periphery of situations for the right riddles, directing the impromptu changing of hats, heads, costumes, bodyparts and settings, carefully weighing what to show and what to tell. For me, I live the pictures like a sequence of doors between my foolish self and an imagined heaven, not final destinations, but events along a via dolorosa that teach, comfort, heal and unsettle.
Collaboration with the audience, with other artists, is important to me as the means to look beyond a point of view. I make narrations for the viewer, who in spite of my intimacy with the work, reveals to me what I haven’t yet managed to see. I craft pictures in traditional and non-traditional materials. I work slowly, rejecting practical modern constraints of production, spending long periods of time on specific details and patterns, whatever serves the process and image, whatever it takes to coax, to entice and lure into conversation.
Alex Bigney-Painter and author, born in Boston and raised in rural New England. Work exhibited in distinguished collections in the U.S. and internationally. Author of “Talking to Tesla, The Mirror that is the Door” (www.talkingtotesla.com). Alex is currently writing the next volume of “Talking to Tesla,” while his sons-Alex, Sam and Simeon, who play the harp, fiddle, and cello in the well-known Celtic trio Kirkmount-are working on a companion recording of the same title.