J.C. Fontanive investigates expanded forms of "drawing," that reflect his dual interest in the rhythmic pulse of the natural world and the moving image. Elements of drawing – line, shape, color – come together in varied media: moving objects, still paintings and wall reliefs that randomize and mix to make systems of their own. This latest body of work, which consists of carved and painted wooden reliefs, is based on imagined structures made up of invented physical objects that balance and hold together through the laws of nature – gravity, friction, etc.
The wooden wall-sculptures in “Difference City” are developed from the artist’s constant dialogue between 2D and 3D processes. Fontanive ‘builds’ his drawings, creating the lines of metaphorical beams and rafters, structures scaffolded against gravity. Carving lines at precise intervals, he “draws” in the wood, delineating curves with the bandsaw. The result is a series of work formed like puzzles -- corresponding edges aligning to create a larger form. Metaphorically they are an attempt to piece together the visual language that connects us all.
Why do certain combinations of line, color and shape remind us of parts of our lives, the cosmos, the deep sea, Stonehenge - or a memory or feeling we had years ago? It’s the language of the enigmatic world that they are trying to solve. Says Fontanive: “When you work with materials, you understand how physics and the physical world works. By default, you get closer to the logic of the designing force of nature, the ultimate architect – coming from millions of years of evolution. You then become a part of nature and are influenced by the vast source of how the visual world behaves. So, it’s a lifelong investigation, and the reward is that you become part of nature, gaining access to glimpses of this other world that is not yet understood.”