PaintingID was my second solo show in New York and developed as a direct follow-up to my 2014 show S1. That show was the first time I experimented with customization, allowing collectors to have a role in ordering paintings to match their personal tastes. In my studio, the paintings had become very minimal, both formally and in process. They became less about using a unique composition or image as a starting point, and solely about the pure action of applying paint to fully cover a canvas. When collectors visited my studio, they’d often ask if I would create a painting similar to one of my grays but in a specific color that might match a new couch they bought, or wall color in their home. I realized that the paintings had become so purely about the process, that creating one in a bright pink, or a color I may not choose myself, wouldn’t affect what the paintings were about, and I began exploring how to allow broader formal inputs into my system of working. In S1, I also wanted to further explore the idea of a painting as an art object, and I allowed buyers to mix and match colors and gestural systems to their liking.
PaintingID further explored this idea by pushing it into the digital world, similar to the Nike and Lexus websites that allow you to customize their products. On those websites, a shopper can piece together his or her dream sneaker or car through a rendered model onscreen. This disconnect between purchasing something in real-time and creating a 3D model to your liking was interesting to me, and I wanted to see if I could explore that in a gallery setting with paintings. One of my collaborators for the project, James Orlando, helped me 3D scan the actual paintings in my studio, so that we had a fully rendered model of each gestural system, which visitors could change and edit online before placing an order for the painting they created.