Following the completion of my studies with OCAD (1997-2001), I moved to Montreal. I had grown up near Toronto, but my parents' both came from old Anglophone Quebec families and I'd always wanted to live in Montreal. It stuck. I got involved with articule artist-run-centre, expozine small press and fanzine fair, attended Concordia Fine Arts for two years part-time, participated in the underground music scene, and tried to keep drawing and painting. Sometime around 2010 I made a concerted move towards a focus on painting, beginning with a series of portraits, but moving quite swiftly into abstraction.
I like thinking about how a painting can induce a mystical experience, about how one of painting's central functions for centuries was to evoke wonder and inspire veneration. Many people are familiar with this from church icons and such, but I feel that when unshakled from a religious usage painting can speak in the same esoteric way to a wider audience.
I am interested in the ways in which shapes, compositional design and colour can work to form emotional associations with political and philosophical ideas. By way of nostalgic triggers, such as a palette or forms vaguely reminiscent of previous decades, I seek to elicit a response in the viewer of yearning for an ideal or the recall of a long-lost memory. I want my pictures to form abstract ideas from abstract images.
A painting can offer a different way of thinking, a visual space in which to lose one's anchor, or a focus for meditation. I would like my paintings to make people calm down and be cool.
I think painting should inspire a humanistic world peace.
Graham Hall (b.1975 Oshawa, ON), is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design (Drawing and Painting, 2000/Advanced Visual Studies in Florence Certificate 2001), and has been exhibiting his work regularly in various spaces and contexts since 1996. Besides his visual art practice, he also works in lo-fi audio and radio broadcast.
Nothing can stop him because he is a preternatural force of the cosmos.
Photo: Gabor Szilasi, 2017