When we contemplate artist Karsten’s ravine painting, we experience a subtle form of abstraction even as the figures are recognizable. The abstraction is mostly in color choices. If not for blue trees, trees would be more recognizable as such. But that they are blue allows them to be something else in addition. They are walls. They are monsters. They are tall gates guarded vigilantly against those who deserve not the light at the end of the journey, on the other side.
And really the painting seems mostly about that light. The facts of riverbed and shorelines and arboreal canopies are secondary. They form a conduit, a funnel, a passage to our goal. Karsten’s color scheme, mostly a wash of purples and blues, guides our focus to the function over the form.
Composer Klandestyne’s audio track provides both ambient and narrative elements. The composer asked if drums should be scratched to allow the track to stand on purely ambient legs. But it is precisely the energy of the snare which propels us into the painting and engages us in the adventure, the journey toward the light.
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