Jim Sperber


Jim Sperber

In the fall of 1999 I began to paint again in earnest and have never looked back. What started as an exploration in line, color, balance and good old-fashioned work has continued to evolve for the last 13 years. Where I once spent my time using brushes of increasingly smaller size on larger and larger canvases, I now drip paint onto plywood panels with a focus on many of the same issues. The color and lines are now harder to control, which makes for harder work, which makes me feel complete and whole. Perhaps it was my upbringing at competitive schools that instilled my drive to work hard and prove that I am doing as such. None-the-less it is this notion of the Puritain work ethic that drives me to paint in such a style. In 2005 after many one-year explorations, I called my wife into the studio to show her something I said might be the thing that I will spend the rest of my life doing. I had stretched 45, 16 gauge galvanized steel wires in a loose diagonal fashion over a 54” square canvas that I had previously treated with various paints. I then proceeded to drip a paint of my own mixture from a wooden paint stick slowly across one of the wires. To this my wife, half-jokingly said, “This is what you want to do for the rest of your life? You’re crazy.” And she walked out of the studio. Well, I’ve basically been doing this very thing with variations on the theme ever since and still see it as my future. The paintings I make provide me with a place of calm and completeness. They give me the satisfaction of creating something entirely new. My drive for hard work and for invention are coupled with my innate sense of color, balance and rhythm to create paintings that both stimulate the senses and speak to a physical process that requires time and real labor. My work in 2012 has come to a turning point. Since I drip paint there is a certain amount of chance that comes with it. I have minimized the chance quotient since it is in my nature to control, but there is a point in my painting where a looseness that I desire is evident. This is the point from when the paint stick comes out of the mixing cup to the panel I am painting on. This point in between the two is where I paint my most dramatic and humanistic paintings. These paintings and the process to create them happen at the point in between. It was a necessity for me to put planks on the floor in between the mixing cup and the main paintings in order to not waste the paint and to keep the floor from building up over time to small mountains and it was here on these planks that I found a new way to paint.

14 Wooster St.
New York, NY 10013