Painting Statement


----------------------------------------------------------Painting Statement

My work takes its form from advertising images. Images with strong sexual content used to incite desire and need in the consumer. I unmask this ploy by replacing the seductive model with nudes in the exact pose but past their prime, overweight, switching female to male, ordinary. Through this exchange, sexuality of the advertisement is exposed.  My nudes are a natural reflection of society, less than perfect but still striving for the ideal. I depict how the viewer wants to imagines themselves.

Once installed at a location it is almost impossible to tell my work apart from the paper billboards that they are based on, except for them being oil paint and the alter content. So embedded are these popular advertising images in the public’s subconscious, people generally will not realize that the billboard have been replaced by a painting. The viewers respond to my work as if it is a paper bill advertisement. The end result is an installation that’s modifies the scene rather than simply depicting what is already there and exposes advertiser’s dependence on our innermost sexual desires.

The paintings on canvas I paint the site in oil, in a very realistic style by airbrush directly onto the canvas. Then after this is completely dry I install on top another oil painting painted in reverse on drop cloth plastic of the ad. Once adhered  I have a two level painting the background level which is painted in the weave of canvas while the oil painted ad that was transferred sits on top of the weave of the canvas.


---------------------------------------------------Painting Technique

The oil painting of the ad is painted in a photo realistic style which when dry can be transferred directly to a new surface, looking exactly like the paper billboard advertisements. This technique is often mistaken for a photographic print reproduction on paper but is actually a painting process I developed. I use oil paint applied by airbrush on clear drop cloth plastics, the images are painted in reverse.  Multiple panel paintings are achieved by placing the clear drop cloth plastic over a completed dry panel and applying the paint by airbrush by tracing the original painted image.  Once completely dry the oil paint is covered with numerous thin coats of white lead ground, when this ground is completely dry a new binding agent is applied. At this point, the oil painting can be attached to a new surface and the clear drop cloth plastic is carefully removed from the oil painted surface and discarded. The sheet of oil paint is now attached to a new surface. During the attaching process the oil paint can be manipulated to make wrinkles and tears that duplicate the weathered appearance of the paper billboard advertisements.




JAMES MERRELL--- 142 Bowery #1 NY NY --- 917 838 7664


Painting Statement