Acrylic and inkjet print on wood panels
11" x 15" in three attached panels
Bill Rybak is a sculptor, painter and graphic artist. He earned his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, taught at Parsons The New School For Design in New York, is a former board member of the NY Association of Theatrical Artists and Craftspeople, and a former co-operator of the G.A.S. Gallery in Poughkeepsie, NY. He has also worked as a design and fabrication consultant, special effects model maker, wood shop foreman, scenic and display carpenter, sculptor and prop maker, colorist, graphic designer, antique restorer and conservator, and custom fabricator. After working for 10 years in Jersey City he now lives and works in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York.
The Neoplatonic Paintings
While I was still an art student I started a small business with a couple of friends that specialized in the removal of paint from architectural woodwork. Sometimes we stripped it off by hand with chemical strippers, sometimes we used a heat stripper, sometimes we just threw stuff in a large vat of water and caustic soda. The irony was not lost on me.
I was endlessly intrigued by the patterns and colors that emerged as layers of paint accumulated over decades and sometimes centuries were mercilessly scraped, dissolved or rubbed away. Much later in life I created a series of “Neoplatonic” paintings by strategically applying many layers of paint to a wooden substrate and then sanding the surface with ever finer grades of abrasives. As I gradually removed the paint successive layers of color were exposed. Minute differences in the thickness, direction and texture of each stroke revealed themselves as variations in color, giving the painting its form, while the process itself yielded a smooth almost lacquer-like surface. The surfaces are in a sense very thin sculptures. By the removal of raw material the ultimate form emerges.