The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World

Rashid Johnson. *Cosmic Slop "Black Orpheus"*. 2011

Rashid Johnson. Cosmic Slop "Black Orpheus". 2011

Rashid Johnson. Cosmic Slop "Black Orpheus". 2011.

RASHID JOHNSON: My name is Rashid Johnson.

I consider the Cosmic Slops to be paintings. I think it's a process for me that helped me reintroduce painting to my practice.

I often come to the studio and it's almost a meditative space for me to be able to make a Cosmic Slop. It almost functions as the stretch before a workout. It's that time that I have to start to understand my body, to think about the materials that I've used, to think about the authenticity of my gesture and how I'm authoring that gesture. And it feels wholly mine.

The material that I'm using, being black soap and wax, is melting and then it is solidifying in front of my eyes as I'm gesturing with it. So I have a finite amount of time in which to participate with the material.

When I started to approach this body of work, I was so invested in the way gesture functioned in it and the way my body moved around it. Even though it doesn't employ paint as a material necessarily, I feel that it employs everything else that a painting can bring to you, whether that's movement, whether that's gesture, whether that's line and with a real emphasis on the way marks are made.

I think that there's an opportunity for truth there. And we don't have so many opportunities to be so authentic and so genuine and so true. And I think that this body of work in particular from me is very much truth.

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