Playing in the Dark

Frank Juarez


Artist Statement

My paintings are driven by a collection of certain things I feel can influence my work. In my studio I reduce those visuals into paintings with a minimalistic approach. Through my practice, I am able to bring what is important to the surface so that the viewer can interpret his/her own meaning. Frank has exhibited at venues including the Museum of Wisconsin Art, Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, Carroll University, Cedarburg Cultural Center, Brickton Art Center, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Anderson Art Center, and the Rahr-West Art Museum. Frank is currently the art department chair at Sheboygan North High School

What is the theme of the show? "Playing in the dark"? What is Dark? Why do you have to play in dark?

The theme of Playing in the Dark is symbolic for not knowing what to expect as an outcome during my painting sessions. This past summer I visited the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, PA and saw my first James Turrell Exhibition. At first I did not know what to think about his work, but as I began to think about it it made sense. It is about the experience. The experience of not knowing what is real and what is implied. He had a piece where one room was completely dark. You could not see in front of you. All you could do was to use your other senses such as touch and hearing to navigate the room.
With the closing of my gallery the opportunity to refocus on my studio practice was presented. Playing in the Dark is my personal inquiry on exploring ideas that have been swimming in my mind for months. I am an intuitive painter and the vulnerability of my actions is influenced by my thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
When did your reducing process start? At the studio or before come to studio or during the process of making the painting?
The idea of editing my painting process started in 2011 at my home studio. The painting that began this process was called, Yellow Bar. What started as a finished painting turned into a further exploration of color field and abstract painting. A year prior I had the honor of meeting Charlene Von Heyl at the School of the Art Institute during the Teacher Institute in Contemporary Art. When discussing my work she mentioned that I was an editor - constantly editing the painting being created. As artists we do this, however, I never considered myself practicing this until that day. These two experiences have made an impact on how I create my work.
Do you do any meditation before the studio hours?
The only type of meditation I do is visualizing about what I want to accomplish that day and really try to get into tune with what I am feeling.
I closely relate to art movements such as color field painting, minimalism, and abstract expressionism. I am attracted to the use of color found in the work of Robert Irwin, Jack Bush, and Barnett Newman.
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