Primal Binary


Brief Explanation

This series of paintings investigates the interconnected and underlying relationships of struggle in the natural and human world. Many of the most profound struggles are related to the physical structure of life. This is explored in the paintings by use of forms in dense flowing structures that are vaguely organic and often indefinite. Organic shapes are in deep reds that present rawness and passion along with a mild shock, like viewing organs for the first time and knowing they have a purpose, but not knowing what it is. Upon viewing, there is a sense of exposure to the simplicity and brutality of nature, but also of its complexity and unknowable purpose.

Shapes can coalesce into forms of animals or humans, or remain ambiguous.

What is in the front of the image and what is the back is not definite, either can be focused on and some meaning may be found. Sometimes the opposing colors of back and front meet each other, because even opposites have some part of their nature that is the same. Each opposing force in nature has some unity with its opposition.

Many forms, with and without meaning, are moving slowly or exerting pressure on one another. Just as in life not everything has meaning and nothing moves or is progressing without affecting its surroundings and the death of one being is life for another, however, on some levels they are all the same thing.



Detailed Explanation

In nature and in human reality there are always dualities. There are many relationships of conflict between two opposing entities. There is an underlying unified opposition that is always present beneath the surface. There are many of these struggles, but one of the deepest and most concrete is life vs. death. Visceral organic structures dictate this relationship. This exists on a primordial level. It is in the modern world that we are not often exposed to this truth.

Another fundamental opposition is the mind vs body. The consciousness or the soul is something that defines humanity. It is light, mysterious, sacred, and pure—but it is fundamentally rooted to the impure, dirty, and fragile physical existence of flesh, blood, and organs. It is easy to view humanity as a higher form of life above all else but beneath the surface and beyond our normal thoughts, everything is derivative of the bestial and mechanical functioning of flesh and blood.

This painting series is an investigation of these concepts of struggle and opposition. There is figure background ambiguity to represent the existence of overlapping dualities, and non-specific figurative or animal forms to represent the complexity and multiplicity of the struggles. There are many vague organic forms that might not take a meaning, depending on the viewer, and these are representative of the forces of chaos and absurdity that push against order and logic.

The paintings strive to express an aesthetic of visceral and primal opposition in contrast to the modern world which expresses geometric shapes and bland colors, which serve a purpose for utility and efficient production. The modern world hides the deeper nature of existence and sterilizes our consciousness. The mundaneness of life can hide the inner existence of conflict. It is an alien and repulsive visual yet it is always present and is necessary. Life is at the expense of other life, organic forms all flow with and absorb each other.

In the paintings, human forms are vague and indistinct. They consist of non-geometric shapes that are identifiable but not superior or more sophisticated than the more animal-like or ambiguous forms. Some are not clear from their surroundings. The laws of nature and organs do not differentiate from humanity and other forms of life.

Some relationships that can permeate within the Primal Binary are the struggle of humanity vs. nature, humanity vs. animals, humanity vs. humanity, individuality vs. group, and form vs. chaos. Depending on the perception of the viewer, some of these conflicts are visible or shifting within the composition.

Even though there are many individual components there is some overall unity of figure or ground within the composition to represent that even though there are disparate parts and individual conflict there is still some unity or singularity in viewing the image holistically. There is no clear delineation between each aspect of opposition, at times they may integrate. This is a representation of how even opposites are at times the same or they are at some levels or perspectives the same thing.

The paintings take a visceral or organic feel that is flowing but congested or stagnant. Within the Primal Binaries that make up the natural and human world, movement or progress of one element is against the movement of another, and all movement is interconnected. Elements that struggle with each other are at the same time unified in struggle against larger opponents.
Whether or not we are aware, there are always Primal Binaries.


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