Oct. 4, 2012. In his upcoming exhibition “Subatomic Compassion” at the Nth Degree Gallery, local artist Derfla traverses new conceptual terrain. Working at the boundaries where thought and emotion collide, Derfla attempts to lay bare the harsh realities and inescapable contradictions that lie at the heart of existence, while also offering a unique – but unsettling – vision of compassion and hope for the future.
The diverse assemblage of paintings created for this show bear the clear marks of Derfla’s distinctive style, but they engage more explicitly with themes that have until now lingered in the background, hidden deep within the brushstrokes. Ranging broadly in tone and subject matter, Subatomic Compassion builds an uneasy tension that challenges the viewer and opens up new vistas of possibility. The artist sees juxtaposed images of beauty and seduction, poverty and suffering, discovery and illumination – all united by the destructive power and potential of particle physics.
Derfla uses uninhibited, energetic brush strokes and knife marks to create paintings with thick icing-like textures. Each painting is a gamble, a leap into the unknown, a wild ride of exploration and experimentation. He paints to figure things out, not to achieve a specific result.
Unexpected or unintended outcomes are welcome; they offer openings through which new possibilities can be glimpsed, imagined, and developed. Derfla works to exploit these opportunities, continually pushing himself and his paintings beyond the boundaries of habit and into the realm of chance.
“I try to give control over to a process that allows the painting to come to life organically,” Derfla said. “The painting is able to occur as an uninterrupted event subject to the whims of chance.”
Derfla is the artistic alter-ego of Kent Paulette. You can view Derfla’s paintings online at www.DerflaPaintings.com. Subatomic Compassion opens during the Boone Art Crawl on Friday, Oct. 5, at the Nth Degree Gallery (683 W. King St.), starting at 7:30 p.m.