"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform." -Diane Mariechild
"Transformer" continues Gortner's exploration of artistic production through works that incorporate both original and found elements. However, unlike his last body of work whereby he assembled and painted upon found paintings in their entirety, in "Transformer" Gortner cuts and collages pieces from an even wider range of found paintings and discarded objects, incorporating them into a new composition. By layering the face of his panels with cut canvas, pieces, and parts of pre-existing found work, Gortner affects a beguiling surface beyond the two-dimensional picture plane. These "Transformers" are, in a sense, a collective meta-sculpture of discarded energy that evidences the artist's own deftness of hand, supported by elements extracted from other artists' paintings and found objects.
It is the oscillation between action and stillness, known and unknown, real and illusory, natural and unnatural, original and found that makes Gortner's paintings so captivating. All combined, the "Transformer Paintings" brilliantly balance authorship and stewardship, and holds traditional form even as they evidence an evolution of artistic process. The work embraces a unique visionary narrative - an idiomatic manifestation that James Gortner has made all his own.