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The Benefit
March 26, 2021

Finding Transcendence: Keith Breitfeller’s Spinning the Colorwheel #16

About the Author
Deborah Kostianovsky

See the exhibition here


Do you remember what it was like twirling around as a child? The world was rushing past you, and soon it all blurred together, seamlessly blending before your eyes. You’d soon have to sit down, but you’d be laughing about the silliness of it. And you’d be marveling about how everything around you merged into vivid swaths of color, and you were part of that swirling dance, as if you along with the world as you knew it disappeared for those few moments. It was like inhabiting an alternate, joyful universe for those few moments, where the only things that mattered were whooshing ribbons of color and the novel sensation of vertigo.
Along similar lines, while deep in meditation have you ever felt that you were so focused on breathing, or checking out the play of light behind your closed eyelids, that you lost track of your constant nagging thoughts and your body? (Well, me neither, but I’ve heard it happens.) Or have you ever had a ‘runner’s high,’ (aka endorphin and endocannabinoid coma) during which you felt as if you were flying, and had become one with the trees and greenery and asphalt around you? (Well actually I’ve had that happen many times, hence my running addiction.) Each of these instances involves briefly experiencing an alternative perception of your mind and body in space. It would seem unlikely that those intangible feelings can be conveyed on a canvas. And yet, InLiquid artist Keith Breitfeller’s vibrant painting seems to capture those elusive moments of transcendence.
Breitfeller’s work, Spinning the Colorwheel 16 (24 x 24 oil on board) evokes that wonder of seeing the world anew, whether from playful whirling or from deep meditation. It has nuanced gradations of color, as if mimicking the degrees of color on the color wheel. The top half seems bathed in sunlight, whereas the bottom half consists of cooler colors. The brushstrokes are short, almost like Pointillist dots (think George Seurat and Camille Pissarro), with the overall effect of blending together into one image with a vague horizon line. Unlike the Pointillists, who would capture glorious days by the sea or Parisian parks through an array of shimmering dots, Breitfeller untethers those pointillist marks from any semblance of reality. They become expressions of our own internal perception, disengaged from the outer world. However, like the Pointillists, the dabs of color magnify that perception, making that internal reality seem richer, more radiant and luminous. It draws us in to that alternative world, where mystery, playfulness and magic abound. Breitfeller’s work will not only grace any wall with its vibrant color but can also serve as a daily reminder of that joyous childhood silliness or those intangible moments of transcendence. And who wouldn’t want to be reminded of that?
You can bid on Breitfeller’s Spinning the Colorwheel 16 online and in-person (by appointment) at InLiquid’s 2021 Benefit from April 7th-11th!
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