Monthly Archives: August 2015

Paul X Rutz & Christopher B Wagner

Artists Talk: September 19 @ 2 pm

Painter Paul X Rutz & Wood sculptor Christopher B Wagner have worked together on two series over the past two years, asking how they can combine their skills toward novel ways to make portraits. In this body of work they have used tattoos as a means of creating a narrative. They have entitled their show “The Tattooed”.

Paul X Rutz "Buddhist Practitioner" carved & painting on wood panel

Paul X Rutz “Buddhist Practitioner” carved & painting on wood panel

With Paul, tattoos replace faces as the focus of his painted portraits. He has carved lines, craters and holes into the wood panels around the painted bodies. These decisions come from months of experimentation into how painting can echo tattooing, digging into as well as marking the surface of ourselves. To quote Paul, “The tattooed body isn’t like a canvas, because we don’t etch into canvases. Anyone with a tattoo knows the pain is part of it. I also painted each body from multiple points of view, wrapping the picture around the body somewhat, as many Paleolithic cave painters did. This is one way to make documentary pictures without resorting to photography, and it requires models willing to pose for several weeks.” Paul explains that in their project with a series of combat veteran portraits, they spent more than 400 hours together in Paul’s studio with live models. It pulled Chris out of his comfort zone, the woodshop, for nearly a year. This time Paul asked Chris they could work in the cramped hands and no-turning-back attitude of Christopher’s wood carving.

Christopher B Wagner "Chauvet" carved and painted wood

Christopher B Wagner “Chauvet” carved and painted wood

Christopher carves sculpture from reclaimed wood. He’ll then paint and sand to get the surface he is looking for. In this body of work Christopher has used tattoos as a means of creating a narrative that will either buttress or contradict the message of the sculpted form. Most of these pieces used a model as a reference point in which to jump off of. Sometimes he left their tattoos relatively intact, others he completely strayed from what they chose for themselves, and recreated the imagery on their surface in order to tell the story or give the sensation that he wanted. “Likeness is never a goal of mine” says Christopher. “Only the conveyance of a thought wrapped up in emotion. Few ways of engaging with art can become as integral to an individual as becoming tattooed. In the same way a great work of art can tattoo itself on your soul.”

Jenny Joyce

Jenny Joyce "Big Flower Path" oil painting

Jenny Joyce “Big Flower Path” oil painting

Painter Jennifer Joyce explains her process best, “I have explored, studied and delved into a wide variety of styles and mediums. I have loved them all, and learned from each and every endeavor. My strongest urge in painting is to create beauty and mystery. That is my guiding light. When I look at a painting and feel satisfied with it, then I know that the work is truly complete. This particular collection of images was completed during this past year. I decided to develop a series of small drawings which I had singled out from my drawing books, and which sparked in me a desire to develop them into larger, more detailed paintings. These turned out to be my “Imaginary landscapes”. When I look at these paintings, I feel excited and gratified with the results.” Portlanders may recognize Jenny’s work from her paintings on the walls of the McMenamin’s enterprises.



We also want to announce our Preview Window for the Day of the Dead show.
Here is an image from Jill McVarish “Ship Head” oil on linen.