Riad Miah
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Petri Dish Series I, 2010-2011
Petri Dish Paintings


These paintings are executed by way of experimentation. A straight line drawing is laid out. The drawn lines respond to the “line” edges of the canvas. Once the drawing is made, color is applied. Colors are built upon one another, attending to the suggestion of the composition and particular formations of the droplets. From this point the possibilities for the work’s development are based on trusting to one’s own intuition.

I approach the creation of these paintings somewhat as a scientist approaches his/her research: here, interested in the aesthetics and the process of discovery rather than in solving a problem, I consider the ways in which the colors’ chemistries respond to one another, and the ways in which the viscosities of paint react.

The inspirations for this work range from the very small to the very large, and vary in their approaches, including direct observation and conceptual understanding. I’ve considered mold and bacteria growing on a pinecone and the expansive nature of the constellations; domestic life in its minutiae and centuries art, both present and past.