Damian Stamer Statement
I paint places that would rather be left alone.
Dark woods and dried out fields glimmer for me now as they did on childhood expeditions with my twin brother. Our adrenaline-tinged memories persist in my trespasses, telling of forgotten barns and abandoned houses—their disheveled rooms pregnant with secrets. While today’s solitude halves my anticipation, it doubles the anxiety, reminding me that someone could have been here twenty years or twenty minutes ago. My unease in these seemingly empty places becomes muffled by stories; they ghost up from the debris before vanishing like their tellers.
The paradox between forbiddance and exploration endures in my studio; perhaps a blank panel would also rather be left alone. Its pure white field resists me, until I dive in with careful disregard and abandon. When I paint, the dusty residue of those prohibited interiors hangs heavily over my work.
Within this tension, one image disintegrates and another materializes time and time again.
Leaving a deserted structure or familiar clearing, only restless memories stay with me. They compel layers of marks and improbable manipulations of paint. Frenetic erasures stumble over a curiosity that consumes the panel and obscures the image. I don’t force a conclusion to my paintings; instead, the tension condenses into a singular pitch, a quiet hum relegated to the surface. Giving over to uncertainty allows these paintings to occupy a third space—one that lives between myself and the structures I transpose. Just like the places they represent, my paintings exist not as artifacts but as reminders of what is fading and will soon be lost.