A CONVERSATION BETWEEN MATTHYS GERBER AND ROMY HANSFORD-GERBER
M.G: It’s funny.. the last time I spoke to Will we were talking about the work that was coming from these works. Often that happens: that artists talk about what is being suggested by current processes. Their heads are already somewhere else. R.H.G: Yes, I think Will’s process in particular creates an interesting space to question what his practice is addressing. The works become accidental stencils for others, which connects to his early interests in street art and it’s tendencies toward the separation of colour and the merging of gradients. …But I guess what you are suggesting is that these works are as much a product of as they are premeditated? M.G: Yes, much looser than meets the eye, ha… strange expression. They seem to function as models not only of perception but more of a process. This makes me think of the processes and language of street art, where the communication is explicit in the painted word and the term of “writers” instead of “artists”. Also, my generation of artists enjoyed the hermetic exclusive world of art. Younger artist want to speak to a larger world. Will is f inding accidents matter more in art. That’s more interesting here… the changing and location within process. R.H.G: Yes it becomes a process of reflective communication between artist and work – not so much expression or a form of conversation with an audience but more a consideration of what the ontology of the work is itself. But yes; I think that’s an interesting point – I think that artists of my generation find logic in referencing many forms of art which much more readily references video and other media. M.G: So the forms of communication are also with artists – for example the printing of Wade Guyton. Artists inevitably end up communicating with other artists after all – not some illusive idea of the audience. R.H.G: Yes, in Will’s perforated paintings we are in conversation with the likes of Lichtenstein to Bridget riley. M.G: The holes could be dots? And this also opens his conversation up to Aboriginal painting. The perforation of the surface allows for the dots to be surrounded by colour, but through the process also become a stencil for coloured dots. R.H.G: Yes. I think the surfaces of this series, matt spray paint and gradients of aluminium, deny the reality of depth – a dichotomy also found in your point about the holes and dots. M.G: Yeah, the metallic silver acts as a kind of non-colour. A neutral thing in painting; like you see with Richter’s grey paintings, and the mirror works of Peter Bonde. …But also the saturation of colours translates better through matt surfaces. And making it an erratic picture via the going in and out via of the silver centre, it also functions as a kind of framing around a mirror. A kind of representation of abstraction. R.H.G: A mirror that doesn’t reflect reality. M.G: Yes the surface of painting. Hallelujah!
Text by Matthys Gerber and Romy Hansford-Gerber