Eric Dever

Water Mill, New York, USA

The subject of my practice has essentially been the methods and materials of painting.

Since 2006, I had worked in black and white exclusively. This could now be construed as a preamble to an expansion into color, one color at a time. In 2011, I traveled to Southern France, through the Languedoc, the Occitan, a land marked by wars and wine. For inspiration, I packed Roland Barthes’ essay, “Wine and Milk” —

Red, while also the color of blood, is above all a converting substance capable of reversing situations and states, and of extracting from objects, their opposites. Hence, its old alchemical heredity, it’s philosophical power to transmute and create ex nihilo.

By serendipitous association, I thought this could be applied to my work in paint. My yoga practice had introduced me to the 3 gunas and their corresponding colors and qualities: tamas, or black, darkness, matter; satva, or white, light and the ether sphere; and rajas, or red, the energy which binds each of these qualities as well as all existence.

This association showed me the way to a color—red—where I could work and move forward.

I am working now exclusively with Naphtol Scarlet Red, Titanium White and Ivory Black. I am pleased to discover an unlimited succession of outcomes, unearthing a wide range of red tints, shades and tones, opening a path to a more complex body of work and an exciting sense in mixing proportions of light, energy and matter.

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