Watermark Books & Cafe, 4701 East Douglas, Wichita, KS 67218
Exhibition: THE BEAUTIFUL CONFUSION: A Collection Of Abstract Paintings By Dustin Parker
Exhibition Date: May 29 – July 28, 2009
Reception Date: Final Friday, May 29, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Final Friday, May 29, 7:00 p.m.


The final destination is unknown. I do not predetermine the final outcome. I just pick up a brush and begin to paint. I have no way of knowing what path to follow or where the various paths might lead. My goal is to become completely lost in the creative process. To wander into oblivion. To discover happy accidents. To become a creature of instinct.

I continue this process until the painting reaches an interesting conclusion or stopping point. I must trust my intuition (my gut) to inform me when the painting is completed.

All of my work exhibits a juxtaposition of opposing forces; geometric verses organic, order verses chaos, rough verses smooth, dark verses light. I am interested in exploring the conflict that is created when these opposing forces confront each other. Conflict creates unpredictable outcomes and makes the act of creating art infinitely more interesting for both the artist and the viewer. By allowing chance to play a role in the creative process you are creating a conflict between the artist and the materials. That conflict fuels creativity and generates new ideas.

The Beautiful Confusion is my attempt to break away from the self imposed creative boundaries that have often smothered my creative spirit. I want to rid myself of the labels and mantras that I have been carrying for the past decade. I want to work outside of labels and categories. I want to work outside of my own comfort zones. I want to remain in a state of constant experimentation and exploration. I am not interested in repeating myself. I am no longer interested in creating a cohesive body of work or adopting a particular method of working. I want to explore various styles and mediums and methodologies. I want to approach the creative process with an open mind and allow myself the freedom to make bold creative decisions. I want to approach the act of painting as if I’ve never painted before.

I want to make creative decisions that present an opportunity to grow and mature as an artist. I am no longer concerned with the public perception of my work. I can’t allow those external forces to influence the creative decisions I make. I can’t allow my creative trajectory to be influenced by public opinion and I can’t compromise the integrity of my work to sell more paintings. I refuse to allow those outside forces determine how or what I paint. I have to approach each painting with a clean slate. I have to leave the baggage at the door. I have to filter out the noise. Otherwise, I would be putting my creativity in the grave.

I’m creating abstract paintings because abstraction is still fresh and exciting and challenging. Abstraction is a deviation from what I normally do, or what I’m comfortable doing. The Beautiful Confusion is not representative of a new status quo. I’m not declaring that I am now an “abstract painter.” I am not embracing one style or one medium over another. This is simply a small step toward creative liberation.

-Dustin Parker


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