(...cont: "The Splintered Landscape" by James Bohm)

The procedures employed can involve a meticulous attention to detail. A line, which conveys all the vulnerability of the hand, has been realized by the power tool. Carving into the wood, additions are made through the process of removal. We are left, in some instances with the feeling that a calculated theft has taken place, leaving within the picture, vacant spaces that perform ambiguous descriptive functions. On closer inspection these reveal textures and incidents that behave in the way paint can, disengaging itself from the divisions of labour to simply 'be paint.' In these paintings, this is wood describing wood, the wood of 'the tree' or left alone to be 'itself' - a product of the timber yard.

Painting has its limits. Even when occupying the margins of other practices, digital or sculptural, we still rely on the interpretative tools as before, albeit slightly modified. We can't make demands of the painter to make explicit articulations of cultural change. The lyrics might be contemporary but painting will still operate 'acoustically'. Picca takes pleasure in the testing of these limits with the hybrid methods he uses, irony exists, but is a component of, rather than integral to the work. The careful attention that he gives in the construction of the work suggests a belief in the transformative power of those methods. Even after schematizing the pre-capitalist ideals of a Romantic landscape, using the latest 'Interiors' range from Dulux so as to enact on the surface some pre-industrial Craftwork. On paper, we could close down meaning here and submit it to a 'critical correctness' of the driest order, but for his paintings these would be unconvincing limits, working with the constraints of being 'knowing' but taking pleasure in the liberal exchange of methods, we inhabit spaces that encourage moments of wilful longing while prodding us with the realities of our 'armchair' fantasies.


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