Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elaine Defibaugh: "Nite Lite, City Brite" - The Black Light Paintings

"Layered Cake", mixed media on canvas under black light

“Nite Lite, City Brite”
The Black Light Paintings
May 5th to June 19th, 2010
Reception: May 6th, 6-8P

Franklin 54 Gallery + projects is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of new large works by Elaine Defibaugh. This artist continues her adventurous exploration of materials (fabric, sewing, collage) in these free-floating paintings by presenting them for viewing under the black light. For those of us old enough to remember the fun and connotations the black light stirs up in our memories, it is a trip down memory lane and for those not familiar with what the black light can do it is an introduction to a revealing light source and energy on the painted surface.
Defibaugh is not shy as she jumps in using scale and fluorescent paints to heighten the experience. In her statement she describes: “These paintings combine elements from a traditional landscape genre with a pattern & decoration composition to formally investigate painting as a site for the juxtaposition of the Urban and the Natural in an abstracted collage of continuity and rhythm… My use of fluorescent paint and black light is to suggest a contrast of light between both the cityscape and landscape.” Not only does she suggest a contrast of light but what one experiences within the landscape whether city or otherwise. The pieces are vast and moving like those open spaces Defibaugh has traveled yet they are also so alive with color and energy you can feel the pulse of the city.
Black light is a conversion of energy, it is the near ultraviolet radiant energy that falls just outside the visible spectrum – when the light hits fluorescent materials it makes them “fluoresce” or emit visible light. When the light hits Defibaugh’s paintings they jump into a dance of vibrations with dramatic effects. “Nite Lite, City Brite” when viewed under natural light is a sea of bright colors, mountains, patterns – a beautiful landscape moving in and out, up and down like a roller coaster ride. This same painting under the black light becomes imaginary, glowing with dripping icicles of color – it is totally energized with hotter pinks, bluer blues and eerie blacks. It has become a different landscape now and transfers its energy onto us.
Elaine lives and works in New York City although she travels widely. Her works are included in numerous collections, public, private and museums across the country.
“The creation of this artwork has been made possible in part through a Chashama visual arts studio award. Chashama supports thriving cultural communities by transforming temporarily vacant properties into spaces where art can flourish."