Artist's Statement

The Mental Landscapes show views through both our inner and outer cosmos simultaneously.  The layered discovery of forms can be visually unravelled by our subconscious to unfold meaning and visually reveal force through time.  The subject and space are always folded into each other.  The subject as a life force struggles to flow and consolidate itself with environmental forces and through this process becomes one with them.

The interrelationship between various art forms and media is a fundamental concept underlying all of my work. Painting, architecture, photography, film and music all draw from the same well of "Zeitgeist" (the force about the collective subconscious) using the intuitive personal unconscious as a ladle. Through the universal language of pattern formation, art finds expression for my unconscious experiences most truthfully in oil painting.

The physical process deals with the sculpting of layers. I start layering colors for the base, then erode that surface until I start to see possible forms. I then realize those hallucinated forms with the careful manipulation of oils. As a form of erosion it addresses issues of time. What nature does to corroding materials in a number of years, I do in a matter of months or weeks.  The conscious design engine also involves the consolidation of forces within the surface which evolves into space.

This painting is a metascope, showing the direction of our next level of consciousness and visual perception. The whole captures the attention, invites scrutiny. Each shape twists the mind's emotive coil, slipping it further into complexity. Then it goes beyond what was created by hand by becoming a bridge to what we still cannot fully see. It becomes a bridge through the force of its subconscious intent. This force pulls the twisting coil tighter, becoming thinner until it is imperceivable. It can be a bridge because the point of imperception is not a true break, but a lack of acuity on the part of consciousness, much like a visual impairment.

By mixing emotively symbolic forms in this process I am able to invite the spectator into a mental landscape where the oppositions of feeling and thought mingle. In fact, all oppositions (historical, mythological, metaphysical and visual) are forced into playfully ambiguous relationships.

The painting is a mental landscape not tied to scale.  The architectural equivalents are explored in digital frontiers where scale and gravity are as relative as they are in a dream.  The photographic equivalents are instances of macroscopic to microscopic realities. Most are of human scale experiences that can often be interpreted in any of the previous scales.

Abstraction in this setting is not for its own sake. It does not stop at the level of expressing personal force and emotion. This is, however, the starting points in my painting. It is “abstract” not to free the 2D plane from its “window” function, but to actually regain it. But this time the window is deeper. As a metascope, it becomes a mirror, microscope, telescope, x-ray, and ideally other metaphysical visual enhancers. These new lenses can work off of our collective (historical) and personal memories to relay visual emotions that approach higher dimensions. I believe this is in the vein of the true nature of art. From within its poetic world, art is the front line of perceptual innovation. Conscious only of itself, it references infinity.

Albert Vass; 2004, 2012