Night Spots and a Dirty Sun Clock
Paintings by Dustin Metz
October 23 – December 15 2016
Text By Kati Gegenheimer
Dustin Metz’ paintings bear the questions of space and time, in terms of subject matter and aesthetics, but also by way of greater universal terms: How do we measure time and duration?
First we look to the friendly yellow clock, a “lived in” symbol infused with personality by way of Metz’s brush, which suddenly measures everything else in the room around us. Beyond the sunny color, the seconds and minutes and days and hours and years insinuated by this character in the room instantly make us self aware of how long we spend with paintings. But if the clock is frozen, then what? Is painting space infinite space if we say so?
A fire begins, a fire ends. Shrouded in deep darkness, black on black paint demands your pupils adjust. It points to the delicacy of human existence by ratio of the fire of a cigarette to darkness in a landscape, or a lighthouse over a swaying endless ocean, a plane over a boundless desert, or flashlight under a wool blanket.
Our pupils adjust again. This small but steadfast light serves as beacon of breath and blood and guts and thoughts in the quiet dark. This tranquil fire in velvety dark is where Metz is, alone in the studio painting his way to the light from the dark. The duration of each painting, of each light, perhaps begins with a cigarette being lit, but it extends to a clock, and expands to a lifetime in a studio. The clock remains persistent, as do the paintings.
I will never forget Metz using the most poetic phrase to describe painters as “alone together.” We all know that we are there, burning the midnight oil, as light diminishes, and the sun rises and sets again, we remain alone together, with the nuanced cycle of time reminding us to continue on. Metz attempts to freeze time in a painting, and thank goodness for us all that his magic trick works, because if only for a few minutes, we become lost in his paintings, lost in his hand, lost in the color and the beauty. But we are only human, and so again we look to the clock.
-Kati Gegenheimer 2016