Dignity: Justice Schanfarber

Sat. June 20th 2020 - Sat. July 11th 2020
Dignity, 2020
Wood, acrylic on canvas
(Photo by Barb Hunt)

About the work
The wood at the center is cedar, a discarded piece of dunnage from a tree that defines the place I live, used to protect or facilitate the commerce of something unknown and since gone. This piece of wood made an immediate impact on me so I took it home and spent some time with it. It came to signify something, something dignified, a particular dignity that can come with age and even decay, with being used by life and showing said use.
Surfaces have been worn and worn away, fibers that were not integral have been digested; what remains is concentrated, an essence of character. It took me several months to recognize this, and then I couldn't see it otherwise.
How could I emphasize what I was seeing, bring it out, reveal it?
As a form, the triptych has special qualities, reminders of all to do (and it's a lot!) with thirds and threes, especially third paths, third ways, and the third possibilities that jump rail and disrupt the common dualities of the day.
The painted white canvasses elevate, like wings (angel wings?), that which is clearly on the path of descent, holding the motion in place, that the assembly might now hover in sight.

About the artist
I make large and small paintings that sometimes include collage and assemblage. My work could be reasonably categorized as abstract contemporary.
The purpose of my art practice is to engage with aesthetic forces that I do not understand. My relationship with these forces deepens over time and proximity, and also through the successful completion of work; hence my commitment to the practice of art making.
Working with unintended consequences is a crucial part of my practice. I take risks in materials and process, making mistakes and then working with the mistakes. In this way mistakes are refined and redefined, becoming synchronicities and blessings.
The drama and intrigue in my work can be applied to the issues of the day, seen through the lens of the issues of the day, without wholly submitting to the issues of the day. A flexibility of meaning is retained and the audience remains free to engage with the work on their own terms.

Artist Bio
A self-taught emerging artist working primarily with paint and assemblage, Justice Schanfarber favours improvisational and experimental approaches in his art practice.
From 1990 through 1997 Justice worked in sound mediums and helped shape Vancouver BC's indie experimental, noise, and art-rock scenes. Over twenty recordings of solo work and collaborations have been released since 1992 on a variety of domestic and international labels.
Justice Schanfarber currently lives and works in Campbell River, BC on Vancouver Island. For ten years he has served couples worldwide as a marriage counsellor and sex and relationship therapist, work he is inclined to define as equal parts art and science. He has written two relationship books and three chapbooks of poetry. http://www.JusticeSchanfarberArt.com

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