By MIKE CHAIKEN
Visual artist Clinton Deckert has shown his work all around Connecticut and the world.
But the Southington-based artist is coming home with his latest work, exhibiting at Southington Community Cultural Arts for the month.
The show, which is now open at the downtown arts gallery, runs through Oct. 31.
Deckert said the new exhibit will primarily focus on his oil paintings—with a half dozen of his assemblages tossed in “to keep things visually stimulating.”
“The majority of the artwork being exhibited will be publicly displayed for the first time,” said Decker. “A few of pieces have been shown before but to different audiences.”
“Luckily, there is a very dedicated fan base that routinely attends my shows, which keeps me disciplined and prolific. I always have a lot of new work available to display to keep them interested and supportive,” said Deckert. “Creating new artwork and exhibiting new artwork are two extremely different events. In general, many artists quietly create in solitude, in the private and secure sanctuary of their studio; then they share the art in a public venue hoping the audience will enjoy and react to the artwork. Months or years of work now hinge on the success of the exhibition. Then the cycle begins again.”
“I usually schedule one solo show every year and also participate in several group shows. Once a solo exhibition is scheduled, it prompts me to be disciplined and focused. I have to finish work to meet the show’s deadline,” said Deckert. “If there was no deadline, I would have dozens of works that are ‘almost done’ leaning against the studio wall because I tend to always start something new, leaving piles of stuff half done. I’m always thinking about trying something new and my favorite painting is always the next one. So having a schedule keeps me regimented in pursuing the arts.”
The new pieces, he said, are reflective of the “Deckert” style—which mines a surrealist universe.
“I never found the need to “break away” from previous work, but do use the knowledge gained and the experience to build upon,” said Deckert. “Everything accomplished, as in all of life’s lessons, becomes the foundation for what we build upon next.”
“The process from blank canvas to finished work begins by splashing thinned paints or inks in loose washes over the canvas or board. Then blot them with rags or other available materials watching patterns and imagery emerge from the swamp of paint,” said Deckert. “At this transitional point, it seems like a primordial stew with infinite possibilities that may evolve and emerge. Then I take a step back to see what develops as the paint runs, drips and blends into one another… The subtle implied images that are generated are similar to the imagined objects that you may see in a clouded sky or reflections in the water. These chance images are then refined and resolved until the composition balances as a whole.”
“I try not to think too much and use intuition to tell me what to do next,” said Deckert.
As noted, several pieces in the show are Deckert’s assemblages, where he takes objects, melds them together, to create something know.
“I don’t always know what will be a great fit [for the assemblages],” said Decker. “I tend to save things that have a sense of memory or history about them. Things that are rusty, worn and weathered are interesting to me. Being a visual scavenger and I’m always looking for new materials, consequently I save too much junk, but what if one day it can be re-purposed as art?”
This is Deckert’s first solo show at SoCCA, the gallery space from the Southington green on Main Street. But he recently participated in a “reunion show” with other artists from the late Paris in Plantsville gallery.
“The Paris In Plantsville ‘reunion’ show was a great event that allowed a core group of like-minded artists, albeit artists whose work is completely different, display artwork in a wonderful contemporary location, Southington Community Cultural Arts aka, SoCCA,” said Deckert. “[SoCCA] is an amazing place that has multiple events scheduled every month.”
Although he has shown all over, Deckert does make it a point to show in Southington when the opportunity arise.
“I’m fortunate because I know that I can share my work with people who know me not just as an artist, but also as a friend and can also make new friends in our community,” said Deckert.
“It’s also great to have the home field advantage where I know that I can draw in a decent size crowd that will not only benefit me but also the venue where the art is exhibiting.”
Southington Community Cultural Arts is at 93 Main St., Southington. On Saturday, Oct. 7, Deckert will hold a “Meet the Artist” opportunity from 1 to 3 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 15, there will be a reception party from 1 to 3 p.m. home brew from Pat & Dean and guitarist Steve Rutledge.