Renee DeCarlo

Renee DeCarlo Johnson's picture
Neighborhood: Mission
Group Affiliation: The Drawing Room

My work is what I consider to be a form of life drawing - I record life around me in very precise moments of time. I draw and record the bumps in the road, the turbulence in the airplane, and the chaotic patterns that people move in. By letting the pen follow my eye, or trace the movement of my body in space, I am recording my experiences, which, to the unknowing eye, resemble a messy scribble or scratch on paper. What these initial drawings actually are, is the foundation or point of departure of a much more complex and intricate journey ahead filled with repetition, discovery and adaptation. I transform and build my drawings on paper and wood simultaneously, and often integrate them with each other. It could be my eternal longing for and foundation in clay, but my instinctive nature is to seek out the boundaries of a material’s strength and fragileness - and to define its breaking point. Both paper and wood seem to naturally coalesce with my need to push and pull. I use painting, printmaking, embossing, sewing, collaging, incising, tearing and perforating to draw, and choose my surfaces and materials accordingly. For me, art is the practice of experimentation and invention – experimentation with materials, and the invention of new relationships formed between materials. The experiments I create, explore ideas of tradition and history, structure, surface and color, and the boundaries and relationships between. The processes involved are equally important to me as they each have a story and history of their own and the order in which I layer them directly affects the outcome. I like to think of my work as layers of history, documented in fragments of time. Aesthetically, my work is imbued with elements that reflect on the world around me, wires, cracks, skylines, erosion, adaptation.