YELLOW SPRINGS — The Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery will present “Art Is Vice” by Gary Birch from April 18 through May 11. An opening reception will be held from 6-9 p.m. Friday, April 18 with a gallery talk at 7 p.m.
When you think of art, you don’t usually think of using the word “destroy.” For Gary Birch, it’s about the way he makes art — the process of painting then deconstructing, and finally restructuring what he has made to find the gold.
“I work in a way that attempts to allow for surprise. I say attempts because I get stuck,” Birch said. “When that happens, I look at other art, look at the world, and destroy parts of the dull thing that I’m working on. What remains is a pictorial surface that is the result of trial and error and discernment.”
Birch works with acrylic paint and charcoal on wood. He may attach objects to the painting or use spray paint or cut the rectangle apart and reconfigure the images into a whole with less balance. Some of his paintings are framed, but most are left without that boundary. If you look close at his art you can often find a series or an outline of drilled holes.
“The enthusiasm generated by chance and error and discovery pushes the art through the resistance of revisions. The resulting image, if it has life, opens possibilities that result in more work,” he said.
For this artist, the joy is in the process-successful work leads to more work. For the viewer, Birch’s work is also a process of discovery.