Experiencing the world, real or imagined, through a framed portal is a deeply ingrained human behavior, something that no doubt began the moment homo sapiens sought shelter indoors. As doors and windows perforated walls, formatted views of space became entrenched in our visual vernacular. The rectangular shape of most windows, elegant and structurally sound, achieved equal dominance with many of our visual points of reference: think photography, cinema, computer screens, the opening to a theatrical stage, and of course the edges of a sheet of paper or canvas.
For the bulk of my painting life, consideration of the frame itself, i.e. the defined space for my pictorial pursuits, has loomed as a profound source of inspiration. It is largely rooted in the formalist sensibilities that were first stirred within me in the coming of consciousness that young artists face when the pursuit of aesthetic expression completely commands their attention. What does this activity entail? What are the realities (markmaking, color and media choices, subject matter) of your artistic inclinations, and what are the assumptions that inform them? Nothing has stimulated or intimidated me more than the process of engaging this intrinsically charged, formatted patch of space.
Much of my work is rooted in how I’ve been able to respond to, comment upon, defy the conventions of, and participate in an ongoing dialogue with the physical realities of the edges of a piece of paper. The content and organizing/animating precepts that are the principles themes of my painting practice reliably spring from this ongoing engagement.
-Stephen Singer, 2015