MELISSA ORESKY

Artist Statement

They don’t care about abstraction or representation.  
They traffic in materials and chemicals.
They reflect, absorb, and filter light; they eat and make color. 
They play with scale, speed, and shape.
They self-organize; they tangle.
They are turgid or slack.
They fill space and open it; they are surface area.
They don’t think, they are thought.
They are tenacious.
They mutate well, and constantly.
They make themselves.

Plants offer models of behavior that help me generate works on paper. I am not just imaging, visualizing, or inventing plant forms in my work, I am allowing a sense of “plantlikeness” to inform my studio process.  How would plants paint?

I use paint and cut paper collage to build and visualize images. When I start each piece I set simple shape and color parameters, and then “grow” a structure, from the bottom up, and from back to front. Secondary forms appear at nodes or terminals. They are fairly primitive; most of these structures leaf but don’t flower. Though I steal ideas from specific plants, they aren’t illustrations. The images are situated between diagrams, illusions, and designs.