"Few, if any, gallery visitors used a Thomas guide to get to the Ayin (originally Carol) Es solo show 'Memoir' at the Craig Krull Gallery. But the memory of that portable book is there, lingering, for so many of us. And now all those guides to the streets of Los Angeles County (and Orange for $19 extra) are useless. Except when Ayin Es gets hold of them. Each page taken from an old guide has a small painted memory, fragile, intimate, yet universal.
"Those pieces are but a small part of this show. 'Memoir' runs the gamut of recollection methods. Longtime fans will spot the odd ovular shapes of paper as fabric patterns, upon which [they have] poured tense emotive recollections of [their] childhood as the [child] of a pattern maker. And yet, there is a univerality to all of this. If you never picked up a Thomas Brothers Guide or sewed a patter together, there is a universal embrace of life as an awkward fit for those sensitive enough to grasp it's absurdities.
"The majority of the show is a series of small and medium paintings dealing with the imposing nature of abstraction. Round forms reminiscent of Jean Arp with paint applied as if by Clyfford Still are composed in a way that they 'read' to the viewer as heads. Long black lines that would ordinarily be used to define pure, formal space have what appears to be shoes attached - defeating the super-serious exploration of pictorial heroism that midcentury abstraction claimed.
"And yet, at their heart, these are not adversarial pictures. They are paintings about being one's self. Better an artist make a legitimate expression of who they are and fail at making an abstract painting than to simply regurgitate all that has come before and ask for cuts in line for mimicking art history. Should an abstraction painting is impossibly anthropomorphic automatically be ignored? Es gives us an art that measures our reactions as a way to reflect our values."
- Mat Gleason, Art Critic and Curator
Artist's Statement: <-click here!
The bulk of the Memoir series results from a sacred sketchbook practice I've been keeping since 2012. It is a technique whereby I access my most intimate feelings through subconscious writing and drawing. Predominantly a private creative process, I have to admit, some of the imagery that reveals itself makes for compelling ideas for paintings.
Since I use very rough sketches with a pen and no eraser, I am not concerned with rendering these drawings to a finished result. I'm more interested in expressions of vulnerabilities, private feelings, and the existential. I leave them as crude as possible and never know what will happen because once I transfer the sketches to the canvases, I'll begin working them out in paint, and I am surprised as anyone.