Jason Buening

Windowed Still-lives and Night Paintings

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Windowed Still-lives and Night Paintings

The windowed still-life paintings draw from a number of different influences. The "can" paintings began while looking at everyday objects such as boxes of food and beverage containers. I first noticed them at the breakfast table and in the recycling bin. Associations arise as packages became more familiar. What'd begun as spacing out while looking into the fridge led to meandering through different grocery stores, looking for food based not on brand, contents, or pricing but on design, emblem, and color. Packages, cans, plastic bottles became miniature worlds, that could be arranged into constellations.

Close up, flat planes of color on the labels sometimes suggest deep space. Likewise deeper spaces beyond these still-life landscapes sometimes seem to flatten. While painting, a dialog ensues between these real and imagined depths. As the scope of the paintings are broadened, the geometry of the room and perhaps people in the room, as well as the landscape beyond the studio window, begin to intertwine and suggest a new narrative; a narrative of forms that goes beyond utilitarian function and becomes closer to pure shape and distance.

At night it is fun to work near street lamps, especially in areas where there is elongated and oblique angled architecture. In the dark it seems that the identity of what is being painted breaks down sooner into shape and color. Areas and spaces have an original purpose, an intended function. What becomes interesting in these paintings is when the original identities begin to slip away and a new connection takes place, one enmeshed with emotion, memory and internal stories.