We began our conversation about abstract field painting in 1998, exhibited alongside one other in 2005, and began the moiré series in 2012. The current co-authored work expands on each of our prior practices, including Faruqee’s commitment to modular chroma and geometry and Driscoll’s investigation of indexical materiality. Painting duos are unorthodox: thwarting desires for individualized identity and vision. Prior to collaborating, we each questioned the essentialism of the author’s hand in the history of modern Painting, foreshadowing our artistic partnership.
We layer, calibrate and misalign patterns, amplifying them into luminous atmosphere and volume. Gradients of light and hue define both solid forms and intangible space. Some of our circle paintings present radiating conical volumes while others refer to spectrums, twilight, or perceptual after-images. Using principles of phasing, binary logic, and wave propagation, our paintings engineer pigment and geometry into illusory experiences that provide clues about their material origins. Paint flowing over the edges and various ruptures in the image are by-products of processes that incorporate both gesture and tactility.
The most recent paintings introduce a “secondary moiré,” a confounding and sometimes subliminal matrix literally buried within the paintings. These ghost images re-enact screen effects via a textured substrate: vibrating movement on a topographical surface causes each concentric circular line to oscillate, yielding another layer of interference. This interruption of experience uncannily reveals what we perceive as pure light and form to be bits of assembled data. (Absurdly, any documentation of these paintings on screens creates yet additional moirés.)
Inspired by the modularity of digital images, these paintings can only be fully understood in person at varying viewing distances and angles. Moiré itself is a self-generating phenomena: the layers of patterns self-sort as they overlay and interfere with one another. The paintings thus they have a life and mind of their own. They are not images of interference: they are interference. This is the wonder and anxiety that much of contemporary life provokes: a hint of animation and sentience inside the technology.
Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll, November 2021