ZERO-MAN: Maximalism Through Oil Painting. Chapter 4.

The Color Wheel

Every color in the universe comes from 3 colors and two tones. Those 5 make up everything. This simplicity makes up one of the most complicated elements of our existence. There are 3 primary colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow. 3 secondary colors: Violate, Green, and Orange. Plus, two tones: White and Black. From my beliefs, there is nothing more complex and underestimated than the range and options when it comes to the world of color. People who want to control color will simplify it. With simple colors of a flag. Graphics of colors relationship to people’s skin. Or illustrators will usually choose a limited pallet. Some examples are military outfits, fashion show styles, or sport teams uniforms. All use a very limited color pallet to simplify something that lives way too large to represent simply.

Painters hold the power of history in their hand when wielding a brush. They are the writers of history. That is what uncorrupted Artists are, whether they like it or realize it. That is precisely what power is growing from. An idea, a story that leads us to a narrative or belief. That visual will emanate throughout society. Casting a view or window onto the public. Just as Hollywood does. Picking and choosing which records are sanctioned to the masses by their masters. An artist without a leash will drive that purpose home by revealing it to the world in truth. While leashed or untrained purveyors will use a limited pallet to perform conceptual or simplistic visions of sight. Little or reasonably safe projections of their cubical. Inside their matrix. Countermeasures of control. Banal for the ones who do not care to know or acknowledge reality. Ignorance is bliss.

Narratives and visuals that are absent in nonrepresentational color reliefs. It is undesirable to know the truth. For that reason, many are trained to be the tools for the ones in charge of us. To preclude their visions to a mere ration of the sustenance needed to survive. Not to better or excel in the situation we are living in. To see the world through an authentic lens is not a part of the control. Therefore you may only be allowed to view the simplest forms of life, strife, and the controlling mechanism you live under. That is the means of a controlled pallet. The means of an artist-owned.


What is seen? How deeply do you look or are allowed to see and view. How deeply do you want to delve into the abyss? The saturation of pigment stands the depth of that range. How thick and drowned. How pure or modified? How thinned or muted. What does this image you view do to your soul? Is it a solid shade of red in some graphics? Or is it the multitude of shades of red in a painting of the gates of hell? Which makes one question one’s surroundings most? Which one questions your talent or the prowess of the one function you envision?

One of my favorite maximalist painters is H. R. Giger. When you speak of saturation and the use of color, field, and form there is no better example as the work of this dark artist. Not speaking of his politics. Not at all. Just the service of this mans limited pallet and yet the range of his subject while leaving your guts on the ground. That’s what masterful artists are supposed to do. Even within limited fields of tone. Create a visceral reaction to the work you’re viewing. I can only imagine seeing these works in person. I’ve not had the pleasure. But if I did, I’m sure it will fulfill my wildest imaginations of the range and color or lack thereof from a true master of control. Yet off the leash. This artist was so bold, they had to mute and tone down the sexual nature of his works for use in the Aliens movies. To make it more palatable to the public. This is what I speak of when I say that an artist writes history. They make a mark that no one can copy. When they are true to themselves, and to the honest beliefs they hold, they intend to influence onto their viewers. The artist has total control over their medium when they are unpretentious with themselves.

Another one of my favorite artists, his politics notwithstanding, is Robert Williams. His use of color. His saturation of this color. There, unlike Giger is an explosion of saturated color like no artist I have seen to date. Not only is Robert Williams a quintessential maximalist. He is one of my largest influences. One who takes comic book scenes, bikers, gangsters, and history and throws it all into a perfectly composed narrative, the likes no artist I have ever meet can achieve. For most people, this is not an artist they would want to portray on their home walls. For me, he is exactly what I’d want in my reality. An artist with no fear for his paintings. Though his politics say that he is being paid by somebody who loathes Trump. But for his talent as a painter, there are not many that can hold a torch to this man. Let alone a fire.

Present or Absent

The World of color has many similarities to the Earth’s and Suns rotations. Since color needs light to be seen, when half of the planet is in the dark, at night, colors change to the night life. Where only un-natural lighting at this point illuminates the hues. Not at all the same as when reflected from the light of the natural sun. There is a dark soul to the life of paintings at night. One of the best examples being the works of Robert Yarber. When I was in college, San Francisco in the late 90’s. I had the pleasure of viewing one of this amazing painters’ exhibitions in a gallery. Huge, beyond life size oil paintings of Woman flying and floating off balconies of hi-rise hotels. These cityscapes capture the manmade light of nightlife like no other painter I have seen. His use of reflective color in larger-than-life brush strokes is a monument to the term maximalism. His use of color, the range and stylistic shadings of the bodies and landscape were the most inspirational to me when learning the uses and meaning of color in oil paintings. To this day these three artists that I mentioned are still the driving factors to what motivated me to advance as a painter. When you are a tactician, you only need to see what is possible. When you are the type of person who can create whatever, it is that you can imagine.

Present or absent can mean so many things. It has teachings in the spiritual beings, martial arts, Buddhism, meditation, and channeling. There are so many relationships to painting within these fields. Looking away, into yourself. Being one with yourself. Yet, the most important meaning I wish to convey to this theory is that your paintings are either present or absent. They are within the realm of man and his folly, or they are absent of these thoughts, meanings, and devices. When you are present, you witness what has happened with civilization and you are choosing to do something about it. Or your absent and choose to get paid or circumvent the obstacle head on. Absent can also be a meaning of banal or meaningless work. So much of which plagues our world today. Artists who simply play with color like it is a toy or hobby. A means to an end or a ritual in absurdity, to enhance their ego. To say they are an artist. Where they use their careful words and phycology to attend to the lack of control they cannot encounter in paint. Like a soldier on an imaginary battlefield. They play war, while people die inside this real game.

Don’t ever be fooled that it is a game for the controllers. Not a game for the citizens who are affected by the rules. But yes, a game for sure by the ones who are pulling all the strings. The ones who will not allow subjects to be prominent in artworks. The ones who control the means and messages of History. The gatekeepers in charge of the purse strings. The ones who make blank canvases a reality. Making dog-walkers and phycologists and caregivers the writers of history. Those who make banal work the thing, are in the same breath making subject-filled works a fantasy. Where one history is written, another is disregarded. For everything that exists, there also must be an element of society that is marginalized. This is the definition of absent. Absent of the soul of art, history, and the making of real meaning. Of real man’s struggles. When they are hell-bent on the removal of man, you can only imagine that where we are as a people, is exactly where they want us to be. To remove the absence, you only need to be present. Present in front of your work until it is of another world. A world where you are in control of the meaning, message, and directive. You alone affect change. Without influence. Only inspirations need to guide you on your path.

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