Artist > Dear Chuck

John Fields - Dear Chuck: a love story in 5 parts

Skirting the boundaries between our personal relationship and the essence of our responsibility to
others, we are influenced and affected by our conscious and unconscious history of personal
action.  Caught in between our world and an unseen dimensional plane of ideas from “conscious
awareness”, our need of affection and voice spawns innocuous love affairs that are fabricated and
woven together from preconceived notions of the things we admire and so desire.  Through this,
we impose ourselves into a veiled and masked vantage point to articulate and protect our self
from wanton romantic notions of those things that we hold dear to us.   The ephemeral aspect of
“love” brings a closer understanding to the philosophical journey of our conscious knowingness
by bringing the notion of an “outside materiality” and making it of our own.  It’s our own, only
in the sense that the outside is presumed to be as we perceive it to be and it’s “definition” is ours
alone and not necessarily that of the things true nature.  This dichotomy in the relationship makes
a slippery slope in professing our feelings and admiration towards the outside world, yet it helps
to make our inside world more bearable for our egoist self where the ultimate effect impositions
onto those we surround ourselves with personally and in some cases, in fantasy. 

“Dear Chuck, a love letter in five parts”, prods a cynical and endearing reference to the omni-
influential photo realist painter, Chuck Close.   In an act that pays homage to or as a means to
playfully tear down the wall between the artist and predecessor, John Field’s series based on
Close’s seminal “Big Self Portrait” co-opts the pose and palette to typify this playful reconstruction while creating a path to move forward and break new ground.   The series of five distinct portraits at first look have the finely detailed realist aesthetic as Close’s laborious pixilated works yet push a humorous conceptual deconstruction.  Painted with a refined confidence, the tight and painterly quality of the works question the framework of the handmade digital object and advance Field’s ongoing investigation to the figure tied and grounded to awkward moments.  Using this as a springboard, John’s declaration of love to an obvious and important influence brings a definitive moment in the cognitive awareness of his crush for Chuck, leading him to fabricate this most personal declaration of his fantastical relationship with his hero.  A lust driven by a solitary appreciation of the influence onto our selves from someone that we are not personally engaged with and whose perceived personality and known actions have a deeply charged emotional tie with the development of our conscious self awareness.  

Todd Rosenbaum
NYC - 2011

Todd Rosenbaum's essay from the upcoming 'Dear Chuck' catalog