tezh Modarressi

ARtist Statement

In the past year, several people have been kind enough to let me photograph the interiors of their houses -- always older buildings, some of them recently gutted or in the process of renovation. The light in these houses has a special quality; something about the way those deep-set, bare old windows handle natural light is particularly interesting to me. When these photographs are developed, I use them as a reference point. Sometimes I am relatively faithful to the photographs, merely intensifying shadows or deepening the texture of the walls. Other times, I insert pieces of furniture, or fabricate another light source, or actually expand the size of the room or the arrangement of doors and windows.

I like to think of myself as a traditional oil painter, but in fact I begin a picture in a fairly unconventional way: with scanned-down versions of my own drawings, layers of washes, blocks of cut-out white paper (for the light sources), all applied to one composite sheet and sealed with a clear gesso. Then I proceed with the oils, and finish with as many as ten glazes.

My hope for the final outcome is a picture that, while it is in some ways realistic, has a dreamlike, painterly feel to it.