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Although I have painted balls exclusively for over 25 years, I don’t really care that much about them. Of course, I’m attracted to them just like anybody else; I admire their endlessness and mystery. I love the way they can stand in for all sorts of unknowns and even the way a circle or a shape of some kind sits on the surface of a ball and bends into space. But I don’t paint balls because of any of that, or because I think they have some significance or “meaning”. I paint balls because they are the most simple and fundamentally different thing from the flat surface of a painting that I can think of. I like that elegant opposition of forces. Every day I try to wring a “real” ball out of a flat surface and every day I can’t quite do it. In the good paintings there is some residue of that effort and in the best paintings, there is a lot. In many ways then the subject of these paintings-at least for me- is just that residue: a wish for something that cannot be had, a version of a ball overlaid with desire.

Courtesy of John Gibson

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