When we approach the 2014 painting Requiem by Damian Stamer, at first we might think it is entirely black and white. Then we realize, no, of course there’s color. We recently asked the artist why he is so purposeful with color. Requiem is not a full color painting; what motivated him to add color in certain places?
“That’s a really good question,” Damian told us. “This piece is actually one of the earliest pieces where I was getting back into color. As interesting as that sounds, for a long time I was doing monochromatic work, kind of turning down the volume on the color to focus on marks and mark making and different things, but this is the first piece where I’m kind of ramping it back up again, but in real subtle ways. I don’t want it to be overpowering in the sense that there are very intense, bright colors there, but they’re not all over because I think I would lose that atmosphere, that sense of aging and time and passage of time in a way. So, I guess I would also say that I never really know going into it. It’s kind of an experiment that’s fun. I kind of start painting, try out some different things, let chance take over in some ways, so I figure it out as it goes, that makes it exciting. I never really know how every painting is going to end up. It’s kind of a balancing act, or a back and fourth conversation with the work, to figure out what it needs. Maybe it needs a little bit of orange here or some bright blue there, or some drips to balance things out. And that becomes more of an intuitive process.”
Find out more about Damian Stamer’s painting, Requiem, in this video (below).