Immersionism Paintings and Their Origin, Dating Back to 2,500 B.C.

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Through his consistent experiments, an artist has revolutionized contemporary painting by transforming the inlay technique into an actual concept.

An old technique that has been transformed into an artistic concept.

There was a private showing of the works of artist Kaloust Guedel in Newport Beach, Ca. The exhibition of his latest Immersionism collection featured a dozen paintings, with sizes ranging from 60" to 40" in vertical dimensions. The collectors' enthusiasm proved to be rewarding. It was a sold-out show.

The development of some things take longer than others. The ancient inlay technique took 4,500 years of evolution to go through its stages as a technique and manifest in its purest form as an artistic concept. For a long time, inlay master André-Charles Boulle's (1642-1732) magnificent work was viewed as the pinnacle of evolution. It was unthinkable to consider its application in other forms until Kaloust Guedel reformulated it in his studio. The reincarnation of the inlay technique emerged as a new artistic concept marked the birth of Immersionism tendencies.

The oldest known samples of inlay work were discovered in Mesopotamia around 2,500 B.C. Inlay covers a range of techniques in sculpture and the decorative arts for inserting pieces of contrasting, often colored materials into depressions in a base object to form ornament or pictures that are normally flush with the matrix.

Guedel considers the inlay technique to be an essential element of his artistic concept, which is explored in his recent paintings. In any given situation, a person, group of people, or even objects are immersed in an environment or a situation. When an object is immersed in a painting, the object has a greater visual weight than the surrounding space, which in this case happens to be the painting. "With this juxtaposition, the inlaid object creates a silhouette most often, and it's done with a contrasting background or texture to emphasize the subject, which is in relation to the body of the painting."

"If I can invent a new way of shifting those elements in a way that communicates to my sense of harmony, or find a way of providing consistent stimulation, and be able to make the relationship of elements a content of the work, it comes with the reward of understanding my relationship with the primary essence of the subject," he says.

According to Guedel, "art lies beyond what can be seen." As the artist explains, "the new work is a method of investigation through immersion." It represents the first survey of immersion in contemporary painting, a departure from his earlier work of Excessivism. A movement that Kaloust Guedel introduced to the Los Angeles art scene with an exhibition titled Excessivist Initiative. The review was written by art critic and curator Shana Nys Dambrot, titled "Excessivism: Irony, Imbalance, and a New Rococo" and was published in the Huffington Post.

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David Zimmer
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