Cat Balco, ‘Green Waves’, 2012, FRED.GIAMPIETRO Gallery

The small, gestural, colorful first paintings are derived from my loose observation of natural or, more recently, mechanical forms. I make these paintings quickly, working through many versions of the same composition to create works that, to me, come close to depicting the beginning of something very new and filled with potential: a life or an idea. Their simple geometric compositions connect them to ancient symbols of fertility, life, the sun, and growth.

As I work through these small paintings, forms gather together, repeat, and mirror each other, creating larger patterns. Organisms grow similarly, through different stages of cell division and transmutation.

Enacting these patters on a large scale involves the gestural involvement of my entire body and frequently the co-coordinated labor of a group of painters. Once finished and installed within a built space these works appear to be structural themselves, and oddly integral to the architecture that they are embedded within. Ancient artists from many traditions ritually painted repeating patterns; sometimes these patterns served as architectural embellishments (perhaps in tombs or religious places.) Their goal, like mine, was twofold: first, the sanctification of public space, and second, the purification of self through meditative labor.