My work attempts to describe space and place in terms relative to, yet distinct from, our encumbered daily realities. Typically taking their form in two dimensions, works are inscribed with an aesthetic refinement which simultaneously utilizes vocabularies of representation and abstraction. Constituting a broader view of this thesis, the paintings and photographs selected for ColorPop (ranging from 2011 to present) highlight various investigations into this realm.

Born of my own personal history in the American suburbs, postwar prosperity and its promise of Utopia lingers in my thoughts and remains at the heart of my desire to create. The impulse for this work began when I was a boy as I leafed through the pages of architecture and home journals—the blueprints and layout schemes in the publications became the locus for envisaging idealized spaces. Conflating reality with fantasy, these imaginings became my Utopia, and the foundation for my practice.

Works are typically conceived in series. This modular method allows each serial iteration to employ a process driven push and pull when honing in on and determining the subject. The preliminary concept then moves to an exacting analysis that seeks to find a space where representation and abstraction can co-exist, without one gesture sacrificing the other. The editing process of each work’s referent seeks to locate intelligible visual clues of form which serves to define illusory space, thus simultaneously imparting familiarity and vagueness. Elements are simplified, abstracted, and refined, usually eluding to their previous structural, functional, or sculptural incarnations—but now relegated to a zone of indeterminacy. This territory of ambiguous affinity and careful abstraction seeks to facilitate the works’ activation, enabling each viewer to project their narrative onto the picture plane.

william pagano