Galen Cheney
I am a restless artist, eager to see what is coming next in my work. I am always pushing, pushing, pushing the work forward, and its evolution and growth is integral to my process of painting. I paint along a continuum; typically I do not finish a body of work and start another. As I continue to work, new discoveries are made, interests arise, and past curiosities resurface in a new way, imbued with all that I have explored, seen, felt, and learned since. Some of these include abstract expressionism, graffiti, city life, urban architecture, language and lettering, archaeology, ancient ruins, and poetry,

The work is not overtly self-referential, though it does reflect my approach to the world, my way of seeing, ordering, coping. Painting is both a mental and an emotional exercise for me. I paint myself into a corner, often creating an impossible situation, and then I attempt to paint my way out of it. It is a sort of problem solving.

On an emotional level, for the painting to work, for it to have a life of its own, I have to let go and trust. Making the painting successful usually means building the painting up and knocking it down, several times over. A controlled demolition, I think it is called, when a building is imploded and collapses in a shattering rumble of dust. There is great tension before that fuse is lit, but tremendous release and sense of possibility once the dust clears.

The work has got to be visually compelling. At the most basic level, I want to make paintings that get your attention (and mine) and keep it. I hope that the layered complexity of the paintings will keep you looking and thinking and making connections to your own experience. A successful painting will have muscle, movement, structure, and a certain density. I admire many spare and airy paintings, but these more structured paintings are what I need to be making right now.