Not Dark Yet
Glenn Pizer's work centers around the suggestion of a narrative, a film-like situation that entices the viewers into playing and continuing the scene in their minds, led only by their associations, memories and the shadow of unease and fear.
The images operate like film stills in which moments are suspended in time. The painting becomes a point of departure with an untold story hidden under the surface of calmness and familiarity. There is a before and an after implied in the scenes to be developed in the viewers’ mind. Small intimate details take on meanings well beyond their ordinary significance creating a heightened awareness of the scene. Despite their innate innocence these details seem to push the situation dangerously out of balance.
Drawing on the primal fears of death, loss and loneliness Pizer's paintings are dense scenes which in their suggestive mystery and formal beauty create altered realities, bringing back childhood memories in which every place and every thing has a story--when dark imaginings are as common and uncensored as dreams.
A colored towel lain carefully on the stormy beach, sharp blade induced cuts in the ice at the edge of a hole, trees illuminated by car lights in the deep forest, a dark shed, a stairway that begins as disturbingly as it ends, light from unseen sources, water surfaces of indeterminate depth all point to the fragility of the situation. A suggestive narrative is created that can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time. It appears unforeseeable and disturbingly strange as fear, danger and uncertainty cast a shadow into the romance of the moment and the comfort of the known.
The viewers’ role is as ambiguous as the images themselves; each painting casts them in a different part, ranging from witness or victim, to voyeur or perpetrator. The viewers’ own perceptions carry them along to an individual and unique conclusion.
Calling to mind the films of directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Andrei Tarkovsky, Pizer's work seduces the viewers into a suspension of disbelief. The consequential emotional involvement is achieved through the introduction of a familiar scene or situation. This creates an illusion of safety, which is then slowly and subtly corrupted and deconstructed, leading the viewer to a place of dangerous uncertainty and real or imagined threat. Our home becomes a prison, our friends are not who we believed them to be, our own memories betray us.
But while the films reach conclusions this work remains in a state of ambiguity, letting viewers draw out their own plot, which can change completely as the sun comes up or the night sets in.