JOY TAYLOR

Artist statement

My work manipulates forms in a flattened picture plane, with imagination, rather than realistic observation, at play. I’ve built many a painting of a make-believe arrangement of flowers in a nonexistent vase on a table that’s just a curved arc, if it’s there at all.

These days I’m zooming into the deep center of my imaginary composition, where I create large shapes in transformation: leaves become flat saucers, stems thin lines that turn into fat shapes, reflections an abyss of receding color. My flowers writhe, contort, sag, and subvert the very space they inhabit. They bridge the gap between reality and abstraction.

I’ve made a few rules for myself to follow:
Scale it Up (so I can go deeper into the composition)
Simplify (for greater clarity)These rules keep me focused on my determination to give agency to the shapes I create.

Still life paintings have always removed Nature from outdoors and rearranged it inside, so we can look at it more closely and ponder its process of change, from bud to flowering to decay. I take the genre in a new direction as I invent shapes and colors, re-creating Nature in my mind and on my canvas. It’s an external expression of an internal dialogue – what does this shape become if it’s foreshortened? How do petals spiral into being? Can I see through what’s on top to what’s beneath? What is a leaf-like shape that isn’t the color of a leaf? Is it something else?