I use faces, bodies, objects & places that may be in or out of cultural context. For instance, some of my work explores the iconography of fashion. Other pieces are frankly ritualistic--abstract warping of shapes that begin in chaos & are finished only when I ‘assemble’ or discover order from disorder. This dis-assemblage & ensuing struggle to find balance & symmetry has driven me since I was very young.

When I was 15 I painted a large 16th century-inspired crucifixion in oil paint on a wood panel, then slowly deconstructed the image (& its meaning) using a blow torch. The "destroyed" image, largely unrecognizable, became far more powerful for me than the original. It had become totemic, savage... That moment of overt sacrilege became an enduring insight for me into the heart of creativity.

I sometimes think of this process as birthing enchantment:

At its best, art is the re-enchantment of imagery that over time has become stale & cliché. 

In my art I create from an inner compulsion. The process is always a matter of teasing revelation from mystery. And if it is honest, it always wrestles beauty from chaos.

-- Patrick Garner

[March 2022]

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