For the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Los Angeles–based artist Rafa Esparza transported over three thousand handmade adobe bricks from LA to New York, and with a group of individuals he described as “Brown” built a rotunda inside the museum, obscuring the white-walled gallery and making way for several other artists to display their works. Among those artists who contributed to Esparza’s Figure Ground: Beyond the White Field was Eamon Ore-Giron, who painted directly onto the bricks Infinite Regress XX, his most recent work in his numbered Infinite Regress series—of which two paintings are included here.
Ore-Giron’s participation in Esparza’s installation functions as a microcosm of his widely inclusive practice. Of Peruvian and Irish descent and currently based in LA and Guadalajara, Mexico, the artist was born in Arizona, has lived in NYC, and also spent formative time in Mexico and Peru, continually engaging with a range of Latin and Native American cultures. Not solely a painter, Ore-Giron is also a musician, DJ, sculptor, and video maker—and thereby concerned with cultural cross-fertilization in numerous forms, making collaboration inextricable from the spirit of his work.
Working with the highly pigmented colors of Flashe, a vinyl-based paint with an ultra-matte finish, Ore-Giron composes his abstract geometrical paintings on raw linen and canvas, materials that hearken in tone to desert landscapes and foreground a lexicon of bright, sharply defined geometric elements, a visual vocabulary inspired by Latin American Neo-Concrete and Constructivist traditions, among others.
Ore-Giron has said that abstraction is “the root of perception” and that he seeks to convey complexity through a bold color palette and simplicity of form and process. Among his near-countless influences are Vasily Kandinsky, who embraced color and abstraction as the primary vehicles for spiritual expression, and Carmen Herrera, who brought forth her chromatic planes and renditions of crisp lines in flat spaces in a “quest . . . for the simplest of pictorial resolutions.” Ore-Giron’s own attention to hue and line allows him to evoke psychological architectures, from the asymmetrical yet intricately patterned drops of Symmetry of Tears to the jutting angles and reddening crescendo of Uptown Rocker.
Looking at the Infinite Regress series via Herrera’s notion of the quest offers an insight into the process behind Ore-Giron’s oeuvre. Infinite regress, defined by Merriam-Webster as an endless chain of reasoning leading backward by interpolating a third entity between any two entities, was a critical argumentative problem for the Skeptics in ancient philosophy: In Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Sextus Empiricus writes, “If that through which an object is apprehended must always itself be apprehended through some other thing, one is involved in a process of circular reasoning or in regress ad infinitum.”
Optimistically following suit, in the Infinite Regress series Ore-Giron recalls the tradition of Peruvian gold artistry, referencing the ceremonial collections of the Lord of Sipán and other ancient nobles to create an ever-changing totemic narrative, with the accumulation of paintings standing in as historical record. Each painting presents a different symmetrical gold layer spotted with circular voids through which one witnesses a field of boldly colored circles—some of them partially obscured and some perfectly framed. But the compositions in the series, like the others presented in this portfolio, otherwise reject depth of field, intimating a oneness that engages the most positive sense of infinite regress—that apprehending forms and concepts generates a chain of iterations, with each link as relevant, and vibrant, as the one that came before.
All compositions are Flashe on linen unless noted otherwise.
Copyright © 2017 Eamon Ore-Giron. Images appear courtesy of the artist.