For recreation, I have become quite keen on shooting pool with my friends. It is a great social game that you are able to play at nearly any local bar. To be truly great at pool is somewhat of a status symbol at such places as well. However, it is not the status that I truly desire from such a game. I am truly intrigued by the psychology and the design characteristics of its ever changing dynamics.
I mentioned that the game is a social experience. The players in a recreational billiards match typically allow themselves enough time to catch up on things, watch an event on television, drink some beers, and even meet new people. The game spreads from the table to playful banter and friendly advice. The atmosphere is rarely tense and there is usually a good time to be had. I have been watching the game for several years now, gathering stories, jotting down notes and noticing how people interact in and around this game, and I believe that this sort of narrative translates well into what I like to portray in painting as seen in my series of works entitled, “Scenes of Inspiration.”
The game also has many design characteristics that truly make it engaging from a painter’s point of view. The vibrant colors of the usually blue-green surface contrasting the assorted colors of the balls in play all highlighted by a single light source in a darkened room. The simplified design principles of point, line, plane and volume are emphasized by the changing dynamics of a single game: the points located around the table to aid in lining up shots; the line of the cue as it directs a volume or ball across a large plane to a void.
This beauty holds many precedents from artists throughout history emphasizing such dynamics on a two dimensional surface. It would be hard to isolate any one in particular to achieve such goals or model myself by, but I believe that forming a correlation between much of twentieth century abstract art and design and the figurative aspects of such a game would be quite interesting to approach. I also have planned on showing these works in somewhat of an installation setting. It would be wonderful to be able to show such a series of works, done in a standard size so no one work takes presence over another, around a billiards table open for play within a gallery setting. I want people to understand my work from a formal design aspect, however I also want them to understand the social experience and capture for themselves some of the changing beauty that billiards has to offer.