Enigma

ballou-tealgrill

Enigma (Teal Grill), Gouache on paper, 12 inches in diameter. 2013.

I’ve been looking at this teal grill for the last six months or so. It’s situated in a little courtyard common area for students who live in nearby residence towers here at the University of Missouri. A few months ago when I moved into my new office/studio space I became even more enamored with this thing. It’s awkward. It’s got a glorious, alchemical color that changes with the weather. I’ve never seen it being used, and yet it’s got a presence and sort of commands a section of the courtyard wall. Situated on an East-West axis, the sun gives the grill a dramatic polyhedral shadow that tracks out, under, and around its gangly legs. Vaguely alien, dingy and unused, and having physical proportions and angular relationships that allow for formal play, it was only a matter of time until I painted it. The exploration was worth it… I might have to dive right back in.

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