Eric Cameron: How to Paint a Sculpture
A strange, unrecognizable yet seducing object sits on a plinth. The smooth undulations of the object's surface are reminiscent of an eroded rock or the remnants of a worn, unidentifiable thing. But to the contrary of our these expectations, Cameron's time-consuming process is quite the opposite: it is based on addition – not the subtraction – of material. And this material would be gesso.
In the late 70's, Eric Cameron, a Canadian artist, begun a series which he called “Thick Paintings”. The concept is quite clear and the labor well defined – it is one which involves adding coats of gesso to a household object, whether that is an alarm clock, a lamp, or even lettuce. After many years of work and hundreds – sometimes thousands – of layers of gesso, a “Thick Painting” is born.
This meticulous project slowly but surely transforms any given known object into a new and unfamiliar form. Once refered to “oversized barocque pearls”, Cameron's pieces invite a meditation on time and subtlety while evoking the image of an oyster slowly building calcium around a foreign body. Interestingly, whether the artist is aware of it or not, gesso is partly made of calcium carbohydrate, the same chemical compound that shelled mollusks use to create pearls!
In other news, if you did not have the chance to see Art Monaco's 2010 exhibition, please check out t artemonaco.com and see what we are planning for 2011. You won't want to miss this year's show!
Also, if you are interested in seeing an image of Cameron's ongoing “Thick Painting” titled Lettuce, among other works, please see :
Thanks for reading!
Matt Sabourin, from the Art Monaco Team