Gravity Wind Man

The Motions of Nature


"On August 20, 2000 I had a vision of a way to paint with total cooperation with nature.
In January of 2002 I realized this vision." Joseph Leo Messina, Jr.

The current series, Gravity, Wind, Man, harnesses these three  elusive elements to create paintings of real physical and visual energy.  The paintings are the result of both chance and intention, mechanical invention and a collaboration with the forces of nature.                                                 

The artist, working outside only on the windiest days, uses a patented process that allows brushes to hover over a special easel with a concave canvas.  As the handmade brushes (that can be used only once) flick the surface, paint is transferred, incrementally building up a mass of brush strokes.  The artist regulates the flow of pigment and works with the shifting wind to influence the final image.  The sand and sea weed that land on the wet pigment and stick there become part of the painting.  The resulting image is one that is impossible to duplicate, even by the artist himself.  As the artist has developed this series of paintings, he has constantly pursued further refinements in the movements of the brushes.  He is also employing a new combination frame/stretcher for these works.  It is constructed of all aluminum and gives the work the image of levitation.

Color is a crucial aspect of these paintings, starting with a solid ground that is rolled on, and continuing with up to nine vivid hues applied with the handmade brushes.  There are strong, glowing interactions of color, as well as more subtle dispersions of pigment on white grounds.

The paintings have a central concentration of strokes or dots of color that become diffused at the margin.  There is the feeling of an airborne phenomenon, like a meteor, a swarm of bees or of a tornado.

In these paintings, the artist works to come to terms with gravity, wind and forces beyond his limited control.  In the process, he also evokes the evanescence of his own life and those close to him.  This work is a testament to faith and the power of art to bear witness to the fleeting nature of all things.


Rippen: Why Circles?

On 9/16/04, a painting entitled 'Why Circles' was completedThe current series, Rippen, as in Messina's earlier series, harnesses the powers of Gravity, Wind and Man. These paintings have a calming tone that draws you into the painting. The artist, working outside, uses a special easel that he designed. It allows the circular canvas, which is concanve in the easel, to flow with the forces of the gravity, wind and the artist himself.

As he uses a special paint application system, he layers the bare canvas, building depth and a collision of paints. Colors are used and the fusing creates multiple color combinations that create blends that are, in some instances, not even detectable to the naked eye. The paintings have a flowing motion of a river, also giving the paintings a textured look.

With these paintings, the artist shows how the forces of nature and man can combine to collaborate and hone into one central focus.



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All images copyright © 2003
Joseph Leo Messina Jr.