New Paintings by Jeffrey Beauchamp
at the Dolby Chadwick Gallery
This new body of work is the jolly culmination of many years of dissembling and self-denial. I've wanted to paint the figure forever but couldn't solve the problem of fitting people and things into my increasingly hectic landscapes without a nagging feeling of contrivance. More troubling, as soon as undeniably narrative elements appeared (yup, that's clearly a naked lady now and a Playmobile pirate toy) I crossed over from the Happy Color World of Maybe into the Land of Loaded Meanings.
Compared to pure landscape or abstraction this new level of visual commitment packs a terrific aesthetic punch. Unfortunately, any of these absurd combinations of hand-picked characters and props comes with enough baggage to be as easily misunderstood as not. They can also be a bit, um, revealing. Fortunately, I'm reassured when I realize that my creative heroes, the best comedians, songwriters, and painters, have all embraced the notion of potentially embarrassing themselves with the potency of self-revelation. It's the price of using the real high-octane stuff we carry deep, the payoff being the generation of something new that can not only break through the mediocre drone of the market bazaar, but hopefully encourage an empathetic interchange between minds, maybe even get a laugh.