I am anything but a figure painter, as any figure painter will tell you. My approach to representing bodies, creatures or characters is purely a method to free myself; to truly paint abstractly with meaning. Abstract painting has always been my favorite, ever since I was too young to pick up a brush, and I’ve never had much use for representational painting especially pre-modern. The act of bullying paint into looking like flesh seems contrived next to the simpler act of feeling flesh out of paint; a medium between body and surface. The search for purpose can be easily compromised within abstraction. Whatever the abstract painter who nods off while fastening two colored blocks together while nodding off may tell you, non-objective needs an objective, and there’s no reason to over-think it. It may as well be a face, a body, a cat or a toaster oven, as long as it means something; enough to get you and the viewer from piece to piece. To me, the important purpose of abstract art is that the materials retain their integrity. We use materials as medium because we love them, so why work against them? Let yourself play, and allow the materials to remain what they are, regardless of what you want the end product to be. My paintings may be figures, but consistently they are abstract paintings and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Essay by Racer Levan