Love Bomb in Blue, 2011
Mixed media on mirror
60 inch diameter
Lyrics pulled from love songs were etched into the mirror before Switer applied the top layer of enamel in Allan Switzer’s Lovebomb in Blue. The lyrics are meant to be read as a question to the not only the viewer, but the artist and eventual owner of the work as well. The work asks if it will be loved forever and always, by all who see it. As the viewer can also see their own reflection simultaneously. The mirror is an object that has millenuiums of years of association with vanity and self-love, or narcissium. The work also serves as a reminder to all who gaze and reflect upon it, that in order to truly love and be loved, one needs to first love oneself.
Pleasures of the Everyday II, 2013
Acrylic on linen
48 x 48”
Similar to the historical canon of painting that carries with it many interwoven layers of technique, process, and skill, the Switzer practically begins working on the surface of his paintings with a perfect build up of base paint creating the best possible underlay. The artist’s materials serve as direct reference to older eras of painting, linen, gesso and rabbit-skin glue is strategically incorporated into each painting’s base composite, supplies that pay direct homage to the painting process. Even before he begins this complex system of layering colour to surface, the artist has already laboured for hours and hours, developing a taut and vitreous base layer of gesso. He creates a surface that is so smooth and free of imperfection that it could be confused for a white coat of polyurethane. Next, Switzer tirelessly grids, maps and tapes, paints, un-tapes, and re-tapes his paintings. Each new layer of colour-blocking involves countless re-applications.
Switzer’s paintings typically build up four to eight different colours of paint, as well as multitudinous layers of each colour on colour. Within each oeuvre he intuitively creates an undulating abstracted meta-topography. A surface that is only fully revealed once the artist decides that the final coat of paint has been applied, and all excess tape has been removed. As the work is constantly masked, even the artist does not know what image will fully resemble until the final reveal.
Polka Dots & Stars , 2012
Mixed media on paper
32 x 24.5”
The Polka Dots are circular drawings that appear to act visually and metaphorically as a porthole into a specific memory and time. These drawings reference abstract moments: what the Turkish carpet from a rolling stones concert looked like, or a glimpse of iconic figures from the age of rock. When one sees the series installed together on a wall, the repetition of shapes, themes and lyrics instantly conjure the game of memory. These painting/drawings also become an inherent visual memory card lexicon of the 70’s allowing the viewer is invited to fade in and out of memories from another place and time. The context of the imagery is suggestive of an era, but several of the images also hold within themselves direct references to personal experiences of Switzer from that time. Within this installation Switzer’s work reflects upon signifiers, the visible versus the intangible, and how the virtual unfolds within the topography of memory, reality and the present.