Abstract art, http://WWW.EXAMINER.COM/ARTICLE/DUELING-ART-STYLES-AND-THE-WINNER-IS long overshadowed by a realism indiscernible from photographs, is coming back. Come Feb. 22, Ringling College’s Selby Gallery opens an all abstract show. Among the emerging and mid-career and well-established artists is David Budd. If you can get what he was about, you can get anyone.
This isn’t the first time that the Selby paid attention to Budd. Back in the ‘90s, he showed his "Journey Without Maps" series and recalling that show may serve visitor appreciation for the forthcoming one. See, with “Journey Without Maps,” you were liable to think that Budd's paintings are incomprehensible. You'd have good reason.
For one thing, these paintings weren’t painted. The pigment, which was thickly applied, wasn’t brushed on, it was knifed on, creating ridges.
For another, these paintings are monochrome. So all you saw were short strokes in a single color.
But what you saw is not all you gpt. Like the earth's soil, even if you can't always see it, there's a lot of life in”Journey without Maps.” In fact, it surges with forces. The solitary shades and rugged edges of the paint come across like abandoned battlefields. Budd's slashes of thick paint tell your imagination stories.
Before Budd died in 1991 at age 64, I asked him what he wanted people to see in his pictures.
"I can't do everything," he said - "paint it and explain it."
But while viewers are on their own, Budd left clues. The dark shades in his pictures - the kind you see on moonless nights - may come from feelings that go back to his childhood.
He was born in Florida and told me he grew sick of the sun.
"It really got on my nerves," he said. "It could be shattering."
Not that Budd was all that delicate. When he painted "Journey Without Maps," with its implied freedom to roam, he did it while locked in a cumbersome metal brace bolted in place to his skull after an accident.
Even though he was fixed to the spot by nails in his head, Budd painted 360-degree views of what looks like the open sea. His paint slashes, cloaked in darkness, conjure up undercurrents - murmurings, you might say.
Depending on the viewer's willingness to dream, Budd's paintings come across either as empty or full.