828 Santa Fe Dr. Denver,CO,80204 (303) 534-9740 email@example.com
Painting and Prints
Blake Flynn's Artist Statement: "Life and Death" Exhibit - 2011
I work within the basic framework of realism, with recognizable subject matter and the fundamental goal of making a two-dimensional surface look three-dimensional in a convincing way. But at the same time I transcend the limitations of realism, letting my imagination run rampant. I bend physical laws. I distort shapes and sizes. I combine disparate elements. I create improbable juxtapositions. This gives me greater capacity to articulate a particular idea and to create the desired visual and emotional atmosphere.
My work appears surrealistic however it is neither dream-based nor lacking in conscious control. And although I concede the germ of the idea for a given painting might have a subconscious component, I’m actually quite analytical in the development and execution of the piece (no doubt symptomatic of my previous career as an engineer). This reliance on my rational mind combined with the narrative quality of the work suggests the term “Magic Realism” would be a more accurate classification.
Like most artists I paint what interests me, which can lead to a broad array of subjects. As a result my works portray humans and other animals, myths and religions, social and cultural boundaries, even the occasional autobiographical allusion. The tone may range from serious to quirky, but I always try to engage the subjects from an atypical perspective that finds both beauty and absurdity in our struggle to find our place - as individuals, as a society, as a species – in both the natural world and the “civilized” world we have created.
All my original paintings are done with oil, which I prefer for its depth, richness, and work ability. I paint on rigid panels with treated surfaces. I start by developing a detailed sketch, often in conjunction with small-scale value and color studies. After transferring the drawing to the panel, I apply the paint in thin layers with soft brushes, much like watercolor. I usually start with a monochromatic under painting and then add color with a series of translucent glazes. My attention to detail stems from my belief in its importance to quality design and reflects my deep respect for craftsmanship.
~ Blake Flynn
Blake Flynn's Artist Statement: "Life in Oz Exhibit" - 2009
After a recent decision to escape the dreary winters of our home in the Pacific Northwest my wife and I found ourselves spending six months in Australia – what the locals affectionately refer to as Oz. “Down under” where the seasons are reversed we were bathed in warmth and sunshine and surrounded by exotic flora and fauna. Here the munchkins were koalas, the flying monkeys were hopping kangaroos, and the apple trees that threw their own fruit were gum trees that shed their own bark. It’s a strange place. Where, if not here, could flowers have eyeballs?
Equally strange was being outside one’s cultural frame of reference. Suddenly rugby and cricket are the sports of choice. One must remember to drive on the left and think in meters and kilograms, not feet and pounds. The standard greeting becomes “How ya going?” or “G’ day.” And the Christmas decorations are up while it is 90˚F in the shade.
Mind you I’m not complaining. I believe it’s absolutely good for the psyche to be immersed in an unfamiliar environment that challenges one’s assumptions and unsettles one’s complacency. The more difficult aspect of travel for me is what is left behind. Leaving home for a two or three week vacation is one thing; going to live in another country for six months is altogether different, especially when one is entertaining thoughts of a permanent move overseas at some point. The family, friends and pets left behind weigh on the mind. Our current plan to spend six months at home and six months away each year is a possibly unsustainable attempt to have it both ways.
As I admired the amazing trees of Australia they became for me a metaphor of home – that which provides a foundation of support and nourishment but which also roots one permanently to a specific place, stifling exploration. I feel like the child that ventures out on a limb, reluctant to leave the family tree but curious about what lies beyond. Or the man who tests the assumptions of permanence and whether home can’t be moved after all.
~ Blake Flynn
Curator's Statement: The Art of Blake Flynn
Blake Flynn is a high realism painter with a magical message. Unlike Dali, Blake’s surrealism does not always come from a deliberate distortion of real objects, but rather from the way he rearranges everyday life and its surroundings so that what appears calm and ordinary slowly becomes in the viewer’s mind a complex and profoundly disturbing message.
The artwork itself is very precise and clearly defined. It is almost comforting until it is carefully scrutinized again and again to reveal a world on the constant verge of collapse that can still be saved if we become active participants in its restoration.
His message, although at times disturbing, remains a message of hope. It is not too late to make our world whole again. He is a living witness and reporter of our time, with a great sense of humor about what we are now with an option to change.