Jonathan Seliger

b. 1955

Born in New York, New York; and lives in New York. 

In my work, I try to blur the boundary between painting and sculpture in order to create what can be regarded as a three-dimensional painting. Drawing on the languages of Pop and Minimalism, abstraction and representation, I make recognizable objects, such as milk containers, shopping bags, or matchbooks, using traditional painting and printing materials and techniques. By focusing on mundane, ephemeral, or disposable subjects, I want my work to be both ordinary and poetic, accessible and transfigured. By taking liberties with scale, color, surface, texture, and design, I hoped to temper the work's graphic quality . I want the viewer to engage the objects on a more universal level.

In my prints at Tamarind, I tried to approach image-making in a variety of ways. In Timberline, I pitted the nuance of a hand-drawn image of nine car fresheners, printed in nine colors in a blended roll, against the crisp, commercially reproduced look of an altered and flattened Fuzz Balls package. Pint I and Pint II are deconstructed milk cartons that are printed edge to edge and cut to the contours of the container, making the paper more active. I stretched the form vertically and printed it in two states to accentuate the wave pattern. Lastly, in Politely, I constructed a print in the form of an empty grocery bag which is not based on a pre-existing design. I wanted to stress the tactile quality of the Japanese paper and the geometry of the folds. In these prints, as in all of my work, I hope that humor and pathos bounce off each other and exist simultaneously. 

--Jonathan Seliger