Justin Terry is an abstract artist who finds the visual rhythmic language of color, patterns, and texture, as release from the perceptions and realities of everyday life. At the onset of the global recession, Terry immersed himself in the personal space of the paintings he had just started to make. “I immediately felt both the inevitable and inescapable ‘grind’ of everyday life, along with a sense of futility regarding the practicality or usefulness of what I had spent the last several years studying. And I decided to dive in deeper. I found refuge in the musicality of making paintings.”
For Terry, abstraction is an organically evolving and intimate process. Each piece begins as a search to find unpredictable happenings of color and marks, and then orchestrate them into visceral fields wherein the eye may roam. He draws a poetic correlation between the friction of the mark and the movement of our days. “Time is a combination of perception and friction. We’re our perception, in a moment, traveling through time, encountering friction. Our days are valuable, our time is valuable. I’ve been naming these abstracts after the days on which they are finished, rendering them largely anonymous.”
This way of titling the work is intentionally subtle and unobtrusive to keep the work open and allow the viewer to bring to it what they will. Terry’s pictures coax an individual to get lost within the patterns, blends, and systems of color he weaves into composition. The surfaces are lyrically meditative, allowing an individual to let go and explore their own personal authenticity and meaning. “I find the same type of pleasure through the act of looking, as I do when I listen to music that I love. What I want to do with these abstracts, is to give someone that sense of enjoyment, akin to listening to a song or musical composition, through seeing.”
Justin Terry grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned two Masters degrees from Pratt Institute (MFA – Fine Arts & MS – Theory, Criticism and History of Art, Design, and Architecture).