This original artwork by Blair Zaye titled 'Post-Medium Painting xiii' is a laser cut acrylic measuring 201 x 271mm in red. One of a kind original artwork.
Blair Zaye’s Post-Medium Painting series poses the question - how far can one get from painting in the traditional sense while still referencing it and retaining some of its essence? What is meant by Post-Medium Painting? ‘The medium is the message’ - Recently Painting again has been seen as less relevant as a visual societal representative due to the deluge of visual material that we now consume on a daily basis. The digital and social media is now the norm, the tactile has been replaced with the immaterial. This has led, for better or worse, to the democratisation of the 2D image, our visual cortex is a saturation point, Painting is no longer the sole tool for visual representation. With the competition for visual dominance, Painting by some is said to hold less pertinence and by the same token does not reflect today’s society. Through art history there have been many attempts at proposing the statement ‘Painting is dead’. Yet time and time again Painting has metamorphosed, innovated and been reborn(although purists may disagree). Upon jumping from the walls of the caves to the canvas(although I am not forgetting adorned walls and ‘crafts’ and alike in more modern times, merely collapsing timelines) ‘Painting with a capital P’ as a fine art practice, initially stayed within the same format, paint, on a rectangular canvas, depicting reality- portraits, landscapes, mythos and still life. Then on the turn of the 20th century the subject matter shifted toward the surreal and abstract, inward and expressive. Painting continues to evolve, whether through technological advances in the paint media itself, from oil to acrylic for example, or regaining its virility through the adoption and assimilation of other creative practices, such as; Painting as performance, sculpture, sprayed on walls or the integration of digital technologies. Forthwith the necromantic artists/painters revitalize Painting as a medium and in doing so, inch it incrementally away from its own archetypal formation, from its fountainhead. As a medium it has conversely diversified so much that it can no longer be called ‘Painting’, yet still retains its genealogy, ergo it has become a post-medium, both unto itself and at the same time not. Blair Zaye’s Post-Medium Painting Series attempts to interrogate this. More specifically, Zaye experiments with a series of Paintings tropes, while utilising a material and processes not usually associated with painting. In Zaye’s ‘Paintings’ there is no canvas, there is no paint, however there are familiar mechanisms. In some of the examples, the canvas stretcher holds an obvious lineage. Other pieces have the appearance of what was, the remnant of a real world paint splat or mark, Zaye then pushes further still, with ‘purely’ digital marks created on the trackpad or with the gesture of a computer mouse. These marks are then mechanised, captured digitally and transformed into a plot line for a high powered laser which cuts into what is serendipitously called ‘acrylic’, cloning the artists mark. By isolating and utilising paintings signifiers Blair Zaye creates paintings about painting, each work becomes a constellation of Post-Medium Painting and in so doing, repercussively continues Paintings resuscitation.
Blair Zaye is an artist/curator originally from New Zealand with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University, New Zealand and a Masters in Fine Art at Chelsea, based in London since 2008. Exhibited extensively all over the world from the UK to the US, Germany, Russia and New Zealand with many of his works in private collections. Recently, Blair was also a finalist in the Annual Wallace Art Awards 2020 with his piece ‘DemiUrge II’. As a multidisciplinary artist Blair works in painting, drawing, video, performance and immersive installation, his work attempts to investigate the boundaries between; counter culture, urban art and post-graffiti, technology, consciousness, the esoteric, spirituality, populism, the transcendental and the nature of realities.