InLiquid member artist Paul Fabozzi, who is a Professor of Fine Arts at St. John’s University in New York City, will be at the Oar Pub at Park Towne Place on July 27, giving a talk about his paintings and the work and experiences that influence them. I am fired up to meet with him and generate some conversation about his work between him and the Philadelphia community.
At a moment in which a significant tribe of painting today is invested in loosely representational narrative depiction, Fabozzi’s paintings appear to operate in contrast to this, appearing like painted versions of sharp architectural diagrams. The fact that I assess a functional difference between these two modes of aesthetic translation challenges me to reconsider how painting behaves as language, and where my biases exist. That thought leads me to ask: how much can we rely on the form of something to dictate our emotional experience of it? Are there times when a certain art work asks us to empathize with, or at least jump into its author’s vision, in lieu of prioritizing our subjective reaction?
My mind goes blank the more I look at Fabozzi’s work and ask these speculative questions, and I have to return to the specific forms and atmospheres that he is rendering in order to find the work’s pulse again. The thing is, these paintings ARE produced with a powerful analytic component (take a look at Fabozzi’s website, in which writing has a significant role), so I flounder, thinking about diaries and maps and computer renderings and recording a space with every sense, and about color and filters and shadows, all in the midst of wondering how the Hagia Sophia, or the British Museum (two of Fabozzi’s place inspirations) persist into these images.
In Fabozzi’s words:
“I find myself inside places designed for worship, entertainment, material consumption, contemplation, transportation, and governance. The paintings and drawings in this series are a tactile and visual record of my intuitive reckoning with these spaces—a way of forcing them to look back at me.”
While I go on trying not to assume too much about these alluring works and their origins, I hope you will plan on joining on July 27 at 6pm, in The Oar Pub at Park Towne Place, where we will welcome Paul and learn more about these objects and images.