Steve Locke’s grids (2008) focus on linking sensory and sensual experiences to the practice of looking. There is a calculated tension from the color combinations and their interaction with the repetitive marks that compose the overall image. The details compel the viewer to investigate further. The reward from inspection comes from discovering the individual marks, painted square-by-square, are actually tiny portraits.
The paintings operate differently at various distances, because of the viewer’s activity. Subtle mixing of color creates gentle transitions, geometric shapes, and spatial illusion. Each piece is painted on the rear of a beveled panel, then hung on a French cleat. The paintings hover, allowing the back-painted color to reflect like a halo, which frames the piece in a pure hue. The mini-portraits are varied in execution and placement; there are expressions and characteristics defined through gaze, directionality, and accessories.