Studio Visit: Vince Contarino
Date: Tuesday June 28th
Location: Marie Walsh Sharpe Studios – DUMBO, Brooklyn
Studio Visit Synopsis:
Vince Contarino started his studio visit by introducing a drawing project started about a year ago, before he moved into his current studio in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space program. The project, a collection of small paintings, drawings, works on paper, exists in tandem with photographs and other ephemera produced and collected by Vince. A black shrine of sorts, this intuitively assembled drawing project gives off a film noir-like feeling of gesture. While paralleling and informing the body of work created upon moving into the Sharpe Studio it has thus far remained separate.
Vince is not the kind of abstractionist that takes recognizable images and objects and makes them unrecognizable, but he is not pulling from chaos either. He instead, through a discerning eye, identifies shapes, colors and marks that he then pulls into the work. Thinking of gestures as objects, Vince refers to his painting process as “building a painting”. During his residency at the Marie Walsh Sharpe he has taken the opportunity to vary strategies for making his paintings, challenging size and mark making, and testing the parameters necessary for a painting to “hold the wall”.
Vince states that he does not wish to fetishize paint or to create a “perfect” surface but that his work is should be a dance between gesture and hard edge utilitarian marks.
The discussion on mark making led to a conversation about whether Vince’s marks act as quotes or as “ideas of a gesture”, whether they are a depiction or a demonstration.
For Vince abstraction is based on faith, not in a religious or spiritual sense but as belief in a language and trust in a process.
Abstraction is often an activity of isolation. In the case of Vince Contarino’s practice, he challenges this notion by active engaging the outside world with other artists and through writing and blogging. He is involved in Progress Report and KCLOG blogs and recently co-curated The Working Title, a group exhibition at the Bronx River Art Center.
Quote below from Howard Hurst’s interview on March 21st, 2011-
“Vince Contarino is a New York based painter. His multi-layered canvasses explore the language of abstraction. From first glance there is something illusive in Contarino’s canvases, a tension between the forthright and the concealed. The artist often repurposes forgotten brushstrokes and colors, pasting them into his collages and works on paper. The result is something both beautiful and challenging, a floating soup of the painterly. Contarino’s belief in the ongoing relevance of abstraction is mirrored in his extracurricular activities.”
To read the full interview click on the link below.