Bruno David Gallery is showing “Town & Country”, an exhibition by Damon Freed. Damon shared an insight into this show, “I work directly from nature to create my charcoal drawings and I make fully chromatic acrylic and oil paintings from the drawings afterwards inside of the studio. This is my process and much to do with the final paintings stems from the initial energy invested and displayed onto the surface of the drawings. The early marks in the drawings, the bold zags and swipes and squiggles feed the color and excitement of the paintings.
It must be said that my color is not naturalistic, or at least not naturalistic in its faithfulness to nature. My color is faithful to my spirit, to the spontaneity and pizzazz of my sitting in nature in the spring and summer months communing with the light of the sun, the invigorating wind, and amongst the delight of fresh cut grass, new growth, and scented flowers. My paintings are as much depictions of myself in this way as they are of the internal structure and sensations of nature.
And it is difficult to speak of structure considering my landscape paintings. The kind of structure I find in nature is often not rigid, but flowing and lively, like the emotions and the spirit. Even if architecture is a part of my vision, I paint it without an edge, without the strict laws of perspective. It is true that I start most of my paintings with a black outline of sorts, a loosely knitted structure. The color often comes later and is frequently informed by the energy of the drawn marks, tones, and squiggles, which is to say, my color does not follow the rules given us by nature. You may well discover a pink tree or a purple field in one of my paintings.
And this brings me to my indebtedness to the Post-Impressionist’s and to the Fauve’s use of color and mark making. It was van Gogh, Gauguin, Derain and Gabriele Munter and Matisse and Kandinsky that first utilized arbitrary coloration and brushwork to fulfill their inner emotions and stylistic needs. Therefore, my paintings follow, in a way, this tradition of individualistic correspondence with nature.
In my landscapes I am only connected to the Fauves’ use of the form as a place to push color and mark making as an innovation in technique. In my era, the combining of fluorescence into traditional colors as far as is known is my sophistication. Uniquely, mine. Others have implied as such in standalone works, yet their integrations are lacking! Through my nonobjective abstractions and landscape innovation I have furthered progress in its direction! In the direction of the Fauves.”
Damon Freed works and lives in Sedalia, Missouri. He received a M.F.A. from Hunter College, New York, and a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, New York.