"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform." -Diane Mariechild
In "Transformer" Gortner cuts and collages pieces from a wide range of found paintings and discarded objects, incorporating them into a new, painted 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. "Transformer" is, 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, "Transformer" brilliantly balances authorship and stewardship, and evidences an evolution of artistic process. The work embraces a unique visionary narrative - an idiomatic manifestation that James Gortner has made all his own.