John Knuth

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John Knuth

Work from Master Plan at Andrew Rafacz (and other similar works).

“For Knuth, the most basic level of alchemy can be transcendent. Whether he is working with sugar, smoke or insects, the common and fleeting are repurposed and given new meaning. Much of his project is centered on the natural world and its potential in the process of art-making. He intends to create something that is beyond the normal, daily existence or identity of his chosen material or participant.

To create the paintings in Master Plan, John Knuth feeds watercolor paint to hundreds of thousands of common houseflies. The flies regurgitate the paint on the canvas. As they eat, they digest externally. Every time they land on a surface of something there is a chance they will deposit what they just ate on that surface. That mark is called a flyspeck. To control this process, the artist builds boxes that limit the flies’ movements to the surface area of the canvas. The final paintings are comprised of millions of small dots of paint, determined by inevitable deposits of these flies. While created with a degree of chance, the artist, through research and continued refinement of his process, is largely in control of where and to what amount the paint is applied. The colorful paintings reside in a space between landscape and abstraction. For Knuth, they are analogous to the man-made infrastructure of Los Angeles, with denser areas next to marks that are sparser and sprawl about the canvas.” – Andrew Rafacz Gallery

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