Detailed Drops

David Pagel
02/14/1997

    Every one of Teo González’s 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-foot-square paintings consists of exactly 10,000 droplets of acrylic paint, arranged in a tidy grid that is orderly but not rigid.  Individually dripped from the tip of a small brush, each droplet has dried in the shape of a single cell, with a faint halo of fading color extending outward from a nucleus of dense pigment to a hair-thin line at its circumference. 
    Although the long hours of highly focused attention that were required to make these paintings are evident the moment you think about them, this is not the first idea that enters your mind when viewing González’s 12 canvases at Hunsaker/Schlesinger Fine Art.  On the contrary, the young artist’s supple images invite viewers to enter a state of distraction, in which rationality yields to casul yet highly sensitized drifting.
    In this mode of attention, you eventually stop scrutinizing the minute details that distinguish the droplets from one another and step back to take in an overall view of the whole.  Resembling Ben Day dots in mechanically printed images that have taken on lives of their own, the specific characteristics of each droplet are less interesting than the various ways the dots blend in your eyes to form shimmering fields of color.
    With limited means, González orchestrates an impressive range of visual effects.  Each droplet is not only a tiny record of minuscule shifts in rates of absorption and evaporation, and degrees of viscosity and surface tension, but also a sort of vision test whose only goal is the pleasure of taking it.