CULLEN WASHINGTON JR


ARTIST STATEMENT
Cullen Washington, Jr.

Kandinsky said, “ The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his or her goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.” In a sense, my work is about language. Each material in a collage is a word or a sound that carries its own meaning. As I progress through the collection of materials…canvas, paper, plastic, tape, and other cast offs, each material adds a specific phonetic that develops speech and over time builds a vocabulary.

These textured terms are expressed in abstract form. One of the ways to ensure abstraction is to turn the material away from its history. In a world of social media and data-dentities, the images in the collagraphs have no social connection. De-historized, de-materialized, they exist seemingly between dimensions. Some might question whether they contribute to the canon and its
categorical histories. But for me, they have objectness but yet are objectless for objects are weighted with time and hazed memory.

To me the painting is the body and the collagrpah the spirit. The print is distilled, reduced essence. The roux sublimated from
material form. They have a character of no-thingness which fulfills my inner need to converse with the invisibles of nature and life.

Abstraction is the theft of reality. It takes away the cover of a thing. Abstraction is the taking away of reality to reveal the
immateriality of life. The “what” that lies beneath. The “what” that has no name. So what do we have left? What makes up the non-material and the non-representational? Strings, particles, consciousness, od matter, triangles, lines, circles, squares, dots, grids based on divinity. What Malevich what term the non-object.

To quote him, “Art no longer cares to serve the state or religion, it no longer wishes to illustrate the history of manners, it wants to have nothing to do with the object, as such and believes that it can exist in and for itself without “things, (that is, the time-tested well-spring of life).”