Haleigh Collins interviews painter Josh Dorman on the occasion of the exhibition Josh Dorman: Whorled at Ryan Lee Gallery, New York, on view through October 11, 2014.
Dorman comments that in his paintings he wants "to create an alternate universe. I want to merge different systems and spaces. And I’m really attracted to the polar opposites of Turner, with his murky sea spray and Bosch or Bruegel, with their crisp little figures... once in a while you’ll have a dream where obviously you’re trying to work out this problem in your life and that dream reflects that. But I prefer when a dream is really magical, to just leave it alone. I dream at least two or three times a month of floating above water and looking at fish just below the water’s surface... that is the kind of disjointed logic I hope for. When I’m working, I just let my brain wander. So if the monkey in this picture is sitting there, and something about the curve of his tail reminds me of a tree root or a coiled spring, I’ll grab a collage fragment of a tree root, or go to an old Engineering textbook to hunt down the right coil shape."