Todd Bernave

Artist Statement

As an object becomes layered by deposits of both man and nature, a unique and personal history is created. The marks, found on almost every structure where people live, build a rich skin on the surface of everyday items. In these blemishes, dents, and symbols I see the presence of human thought and action, the passage of time, and the physical intimacy a surface shares with its environment. I have been drawn to these marks for several years, incorporating many of their characteristics into my work. Over time, I created a language of symbols to express myself, a collection of backgrounds that represent periods of my life, and an overwhelming sense that nature is part of everything I do. Like the surfaces I respond to, my pieces build very gradually. Each layer adds to and takes from the one that came before, producing patterns of abstraction as one surface becomes subordinate to the next. The interaction is meant to express time, as each moment is supplanted by another. It is through this massing of marks – the laying down and fracturing of ideas, the decomposition and reinvention over time – that I try to impart a history to the surface of a piece.

My work explores the uncertainty and state of transition all things have as they progress through time. My pieces search for an intersection where diverse elements meet, the quiet interaction of images that are natural/organic and those that are deliberate/symbolic. These elements, and my continual drive to express them visually, represent the underlying focus of my work. My objective is to explore the boundaries of the painted surface as I engage the environment that surrounds me.

Brasserie Four

4 east main street, walla walla
509.529.2011

tuesday–thursday 12–9
friday–saturday 12–10