Night Painting © Michelle Concepción

Excerpt from "The Metaphysical Fairyland of Michelle Concepción"

Concepción is the arbiter of life-forces as much as she is a painter of color and shape. As she pulls her brush across the surface, or scratches at a line, what she is really doing is channeling the vital principle of each shape, line, swish, blotch, and pattern of textured color at the moment when it is most alive. The paintings are testaments or snapshots of the moment of their creation, where the shadows and specters—ghosts—which hover around them are allowed to come into view before passing away. This is not an aesthetic of competition aimed at who will win, but rather art as a metaphysical fairyland or allegory of existence, founded in painterly acts of generosity. In Black and White Clusters, 2016, or the more foreboding Night Painting, 2017, apparition and object exist in pools of potential rather than presence; zones of dimensionality shift before our eyes—no longer referencing the art historical space of mid 20th century abstraction but rather, like Klee or even Rothko, existence itself. Isn’t that what color is, a consequence of wavelength; continuums of color

made of photons whose signature property is that they have no mass. And isn’t this paradox of being at once present (as a body) and absent (lost within the metaphysical torrent of Concepción’s paintings) precisely what it’s like to be a ghost, or a visitor to a dimension we have yet to understand?


by Thyrza Nichols Goodeve 2017

© Michelle Concepción