24 Feb 2024 - 25 May 2024

The Rare But Known Phenomenon

Meem Gallery


Painting serves as a profound mode of visual expression, encapsulating the essence of the world that surrounds me. Within this new collection, I have endeavored to distill the complexity of ideas and images into a meditative practice that mirrors the cycles of nature, whether it be the gentle unfolding of a sunrise, the fiery blaze of a sunset, or any other natural phenomenon typically devoid of philosophical interpretation. When human interaction interlaces with the act of creation, observers inevitably find themselves reflecting upon the underlying motivations. It is within this dynamic interplay that human empathy and ego emerge, emanating from a common core and guiding the viewer towards a perception of the external world as a reflection of the self.

In the current landscape of our world, characterized by pervasive confusion and a prevailing sense of complacency in personal and material achievements, I am compelled to recognize the interconnectedness of humanity as a collective entity. The individual, I realize, is not fundamentally distinct from the whole; rather, we are all integral components of the intricate tapestry of life on Earth. However, the human mind often becomes disconnected from this holistic perspective, thereby necessitating a deliberate return to a state of mindfulness and unity with our surroundings. It is with this intention that I have consciously eschewed the pursuit of profound existential truths and instead focus on the innate beauty found in simplicity.

Through my paintings, I aim to challenge the conventional understanding of color, asserting that its existence is not absolute but rather contingent upon perception. By stripping away extraneous layers of meaning, I seek to demonstrate that even the most ordinary elements of our existence possess a unique beauty when viewed through the lens of mindful awareness. These artworks are not burdened with predetermined narratives or agendas; rather, they invite the viewer to engage with them in the present moment, free from the constraints of preconceived notions or expectations.

Like a palate cleanser between sushi courses, these paintings serve to clear the cluttered recesses of the mind and realign one’s focus on the present moment. Whether or not they succeed in this endeavor is inconsequential to me, as my commitment lies in the pursuit of my artistic philosophy and the cultivation of mindfulness in the here and now. With each brushstroke, I remain anchored in the present, embracing the transient beauty of this moment in time.

Zhivago Duncan
Los Angeles 2024

Artist statement from Meem Gallery

Image: Zhivago Duncan. Delta. 2024. Detail. Dye and rabbit skin glue on canvas. 200 x 170 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Meem Gallery