Pondering paint splatters with Adam Closs

Adam Closs Magic Eye 3 I’ve long been a fan of Adam Closs’ abstract creations, and his latest series offers up riches of colour and texture that only deepen my love of his work.

Titled Magic Eye, “so that people know what to do”, Adam’s large scale paintings invite you to spend time with them, searching out stories in their layers. The scene shown above is just a small section of one canvass. Below you can see the full piece.

Adam Closs Magic Eye 3

The series took root as an concept many years ago when Adam painted a piece, even larger than these, titled DC Comics, that presented the outlines of a storyboard or comic book, each containing a single abstract images connected with those preceding and following, and linked by liberal ‘splatters’ (yes, that’s the technical term). “I liked the idea that we know what to do – we’re programmed to see stories in these spaces and link them together, regardless of what’s actually there.”

DC Comics cr Adam Closs

DC Comics © Adam Closs

The current series take this idea and soars with it, presenting canvas after canvas – eight in all – that play with our perception and preconceptions so that each one presents infinite possibilities, if we engage our minds as we look at them.

“With ambiguous works like these you can make an interpretation of some parts of the image, and if you do that with one detail, your eyes can move over the painting and see others that support that first impression.”

Adam Closs Magic Eye 6

Essentially, you’re seeing what you want to see. It seems like a fanciful thought, but it’s one I find endlessly attractive. No two people will see any of the paintings in exactly the same way – in fact, a single individual will understand it differently each time they gaze at it, as their mood and preoccupations influence what they see. “In psychological terms, it’s about projection,” Adam says.

Think of it as static cloud-watching, or rather, not static – in this context, it’s the movement of your own mind that informs what you see.

Adam Closs Magic Eye 3 detail

If this all seems a bit cerebral for your liking, don’t fret. The busy swirls and splodges of colour are appealing in themselves, created by Adam crouching over each of the canvasses and pouring acrylic paint onto it before getting into it with his fingers. Sounds fun to me!

Adam Closs Magic Eye 4 detail

Each of the eight paintings develops his ideas a little further, a lot of it derived simply from gut instinct, as he’s painted subtle frames to confine and enhance the intensity of the pieces, and varied the size of the markings, including some larger patches to give your eyes somewhere to rest. He’s thoughtful like that.

By including three-dimensional paint blobs of different sizes, the paintings gain alternating surfaces of shadow and light that shift according to the time of day, so that there’s always something new to see. They’re definitely something I could gaze ad infinitum – and I’ve currently got one on the wall of my writing room, so I know what I’m talking about.

Discover more of Adam’s art and ideas at www.adamcloss.co.uk.

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judydarley (at) iCloud.com. I’m also happy to receive reviews of books, exhibitions, theatre and film. To submit or suggest a review, please send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud.com.