24- “The Wizard (III)” - by artist Stephen Yarbrough - fabric, charcoal and collage on canvas - 14”x18.5” - Feb 2016 (available)
Here’s another of my favorite Wizard paintings. I love the way that this challenges reality. It puts us into a space of “what is it?” It feels like some kind of object, but maybe it’s a landscape/structure building?
I love the layers in this piece, the feeling of trying to figure what is on top of what, and sometimes not being able to tell unless we look really closely. That seems to me a good way of describing our current reality, with layers on top of layers, and not even knowing what is “real” anymore, or what that is supposed to mean. This is an “old” piece, and many traditional galleries wouldn’t let me enter it into any show, even though I barely ever showed it anywhere. Does that make it somehow irrelevant, because I made it a while ago?
I love calling this a painting, even when I never used any paint. I thought about it like a painting. Is it a painting? I don’t really like the description, often used in the art world, of “mixed media.” Because I feel that that tells us little to nothing about the process used. In sculpture, they’d be describing all the materials used, because the materials might add to the meaning of the piece. In my case, I tell you the materials in the piece, because I want to emphasize the process in making it, as much as the end product that the viewer can see.
I feel like the space of “what is it?” is really important right now, not only because our lives are so confusing, but because this kind of mind space is transformational. If our reality is “established,” it is much harder for us to grow and change. But if we are still emerging, we can change.
And change, transformation, is magic. That is the magic of the “Wizard.”