Paul Loughney: Confetti of the Mind
at Lesley Heller Gallery in New York, New York, USA
4 September-20 October 2019
In this body of work, Paul Loughney culls images from contemporary magazines—a source material he approaches as an anthropological document—and transforms through cut patterning, design, and layering into complex compositions of distorted fragments. “My intention is to create a sense of mystery or otherworldliness.” Loughney states. This manifests into abstract works consisting of layered imagery—that make use of repeated pattern and form—resulting in colorfully dynamic compositions set against a dark background.
Loughney, who began his artistic career in printmaking and painting, says that “Collage was a surprise, certainly an unanticipated venture, but it became the perfect medium.” The images he had once saved solely as reference material became the main subjects of his works. Not limited by the small scale of his source imagery though, Loughney is able to piece together works that defy the scale of his materials. For “Confetti of the Mind”, he has created a mural-size collage installation that mirrors the backgrounds in the smaller-scale framed collages and serves as a backdrop which the show is directly installed on.
Of his process Loughney says, “Excavation starts by cutting, removing, and categorizing the imagery by subject: male, female, fashion, beauty, personal and household products—all idealized to suggest perfection. I then remove the image from its context, re-shape it, combine it with related or non-related material, and create a visual that now has a life of its own.” The final images are suggestive of an abstracted human form with geometric patterning and create a mixed-perspective reminiscent of a fractured fun house reflection.
The result is a new narrative, one that poses rather than answers questions. It is one of distorted familiarity, where the viewer might identity fragments but is left to assemble the parts into coherency. A confetti of images pieced together to form parts of a story that is not yet written.
(adapted from the gallery’s press materials)
Leslie Heller Gallery
54 Orchard Street
New York, New York 10002 USA