Amy Mahnick

This group of paintings represents the point where the meaning behind my props, and the paintings of them, begin to parallel each other.  For years, I have painted still lifes of objects that were transformed out of cast off plastics and packaging materials.  The symbolism of gathering those materials, which have been tossed out, overlooked and emptied, then reclaiming them for their beauty, reassembling different parts of them to form new wholes and shining a light on them through observational painting, is at the heart of my practice.  

Much like my props, the Aggregates represent a search for that place where disparate parts fit together, then an infusing of energy into those parts.  I begin each painting illusionistically because I want to record the presence of my props and convey their specific, albeit personal, meaning.  But, further in, I have a desire to move from specificity and stability to something more animated and unknown.  I do this by intentionally intervening in my set up, or by not trying to fix mistakes that arise.  For instance, I might switch out one object for another, or paint under different light.  Other times, if my dog's tail happens to knock something over, I find a way to work that into my composition.  Either way, the result is a painting that's more rhythmic and alive.  Contrary to how that looks, however, is the process, which is a slow, thoughtful search for where to incorporate the new element.