Robert Ruello: Fuzzy Essentials
May 30 - July 5, 2015
As a boy, my little brother and I would build model cars from plastic kits. Each of us got to select a different car. Without thinking, we would open up the packages and excitedly spread the contents on a table. Invariably the parts from his car would become mixed with the parts from my car. Rather than separate them out again, he and I would combine the parts to build “showroom” hybrids. Not too surprising, they looked nothing like the examples on the outside of the boxes.
A similar process is used to create the artworks on view in “Fuzzy Essentials”. That is…source pictures are disassembled and recombined into heavily modified images, which became the basis for paintings. Initially this separation and rejoining was accomplished on a Xerox copy machine, but that activity quickly migrated over to a computer.
The portable laptop has become my sketchbook. All of my painted images are designed with the aid of software. This process allows me to move quickly and act spontaneously. If I want to change an element – it can be done in seconds/minutes rather than the hours it might take to change that same element on canvas. I also realized that I am task oriented – having a clear direction helps focus my time and energy. The act of painting becomes more like an act of translation. I have to capture the essence and nuance of a digital image in the physical process of painting. This allows me to have the best of both words, a well thought out sketch combined with the visceral activity of making a painting or drawing.
I am pleased that this exhibition was able to include some early paintings
(copy art based) from the middle 1990’s. Additionally the inclusion of some computer-based paintings from the middle 2000’s chronicles the shift from photo reproduction to digital manipulation that occurred in my work during that 10 year time period. However the majority of artworks in this exhibition are from a 2013-2015 body of work called “The Noise of the Stars” – which makes its debut at the Galveston Art Center.