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Playing with paint skins

Skins, Moberg Gallery

August 31 - October 6, 2012

Detail of dried paint collage

Review by Jon & Rachel

September 7, 2012

It’s no secret that artist T.J. Moberg tends to create works of art that are meant for public spaces, corporate settings or to hang in people’s homes. And it would be tough to knock him for knowing the kind of audience he courts. “Skins” finds Moberg creating collages out of dried portions of paint by assembling them on a pane of plexiglass. A thick glassy layer of epoxy is poured on top, allowing loose bits of paint to shift and become frozen in mid-movement. Shadowy undercuts created from curled up edges and suspended flakes add a bit more depth to each surface.

Moberg approached his process differently for each composition, varying both the types of paint used and the source materials. In one instance, dried scraps from artist Chris Vance’s studio became a color collage. In another piece entitled “control issues,” a television and remote controls were used to emboss the dried paint.

Jon investigates TJ Moberg’s Miami Skinmachine

Strong color theory predominates, and it almost seems that Moberg consulted a swatch book in the paint aisle at Home Depot to attain colors that could satisfy potential buyers. The work is simply read, and looks like it wants to be used as decoration. An interior designer might pick one of them to hang out in a psychologist’s office if not for all the fragmentation.

Light Snack, TJ Moberg

For the most part, the show lacks direct representation although there are a couple of deviations from abstraction in the guise of flower forms, and an (intentionally?) tacky, thunder-bird-shaped paint skin.

The work seems to be the result of an artist following the consumer as muse rather than expressing a definitive purpose of exploration or concept. Never the less, the process seems fun and sounds fun from the account in the Des Moines Register about how the show came together between rounds of golf.

TJ Moberg’s work will be on display through Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, and you can visit for more information.