Teo González

Bridget Goodbody
02/12/2004

   There’s misinformation spreading though the art press about Teo González, whose paintings are currently on view at Cristinerose/Josee Bienvenu.  According to several published accounts, the artist makes the thousands of calibrated dots in his gridlike images with a pipette—an instrument used by doctors to release measured droplets of blood onto microscope slides.  He does not.  He uses a brush.  This misinterpretation of González’s technique, along with the apparent desire to understand his process, indicated the complexity and seductive appeal of his art.
    Each amoeboid globule in González’s paintings is actually made by combining two drops of acrylic paint: a primary transparent bead, followed by an opaque pinpoint of enamel.  (The composition of the paint used to prepare the backgrounds allows the transparent drops to pool and dry in standard proportions).  The paintings are based on mathematical formulas revealed in their titles.  For example, “Drawing #143 (3,000 black on white 10 and direct gauge 1.5-2-3-6mm) (2002) features 3,000 black dots on a white background, applied in rows of ten.  The drops, placed in four adjacent squares of equal dimensions, range in size from 1.5 to 6 millimeters in diameter.
    Jackson Pollock’s “drip” paintings, though the formal antithesis of Gonzalez’s droplets—the former embrace chance, while the latter are highly controlled—offer an inevitable point of comparison.  The genius of Pollock’s paintings lies in their deceptively random appearance, their ability to make viewers think, “I could do that.”  González, whose goal it is to eradicate randomness altogether, creates a systematic method of painting that appears similarly replicable.  But, despite his efforts at containment, the subtle, exquisite variations in Gonzalez’s paintings attest to the fact that chaos is impossible to control.