Tara Meeks


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oil on panel, 2020, 42.5 x 32”

Artist Statement

Whether or not we like it, we live in the gap. While reality seems to unfold all around us, there is a great deal of distance between the known and unknown, the now and not yet. We can unearth traces of answers, but do we ever reach a complete understanding? In my work I seek to both visually and metaphorically discuss the complex nature of the “in between.” Our reactions to the ambiguity of this absence will always be some concoction of joy, confusion, disgust, anticipation, fear… and these are the emotions I work to express and explore in my paintings.

Both the compulsive inclusion and the dramatic exclusion of details in my work serve my intent to curate space. Vast simplicity and particular minutia speak to the landscapes, interiors, and architecture that form major motifs throughout my work. I long to invite people into their own diverse, critical ideas in response to the sparse atmospheres showcased in my work. More than just breathing room, I curate specific “thinking room” within my paintings, pushing for the slow and steady engagement of the viewer.

Indeed, habit and pattern play a huge role in determining the subject of my work. I follow my own obsessions, developed through my own patterns of observation. Whether beds or stairs or doors, I cycle through my visual observation and investigation of the spaces we move in and through. It is not simply the repetition of noticing that builds ritual into my work, however. Something profound happens when an otherwise mundane subject is considered rather than overlooked, and when it is celebrated rather than simply used. Examining the traces of the recent past, the universal habit, or the unfinished narrative help me flesh out the space of the “in between.” While patterns of life illuminate the power of death, moments of absence, in some respect, illuminate presence.