Science has recently revealed that our memories are re-written every time we recall them. Something we’ve only just remembered from years past is probably the truest to reality. Whereas the story or fond memory we recall over and over again is the most distorted by our minds accessing it, like a copy of a copy of a copy. So it is possible that when we recall the memory of, for example, a car, if we are influenced by something that is red at the time we are recalling the memory, the car in the memory can become red, even though the actual car was yellow when we first saw it.

I believe that the artist’s role is to examine these distortions. What is known as the zeitgeist, or feeling of time and place, influences not only how we view a work of art when and where we create it but how it is experienced years and miles away. With this in mind, I create works based on moments or memories of events that may not have even happened yet. A distinct event can inspire an entire set of distortions that create a completely different event within the piece.

What really excites me about art is this feeling of mystery, the sense of experiencing a moment from the imagination. I find myself remembering things or events and purposefully keeping myself from actually going and looking to see what they really looked like — recording the distortion rather than the event itself. So much about a painting can become true after I paint it, that to examine its meaning before I paint it would be fruitless. Instead, it is a story distilled through the process of telling it.

~Duncan Reid