Seattle artist Cable Griffith is known for his dense, colorful, fantasy landscape paintings informed equally by nature and video games. They are flattened, expansive compositions with different land forms coming together in a single image. He says that with this body of work his "main interest was creating a paralleled ecology of parts that make up a landscape." Cable also works as a curator and says that this helped him understand "other ways of looking at art making."
The Eye (2018) might best be described as a post-Microsoft-Paint-Pointillist approach to painting an invented forest scene. There's a mystery in the glowing yellow and pink plant eye which seems to suggest the sentience of flora. The colors and contours show a strong gaming influence, which Cable says was a natural connection. "When you see Josef Albers' paintings and early Atari games side by side, they look almost identical.” The influence of Albers and Atari are both evident, but are here pushed to a maximalist end.
Cable's 2019 piece Unsettled is a six foot square composition of burning crimson and midnight black. He describes it as "a painting built over exposed historical photographs of the landscape from Lake Washington's eastside directly onto canvas." Taken together with the title, it reads as an ominous prefiguration of European Settler Colonial Violence. As if the photographs have been imbued, through color, with historical hindsight.
In Mysterious Light in the Woods (2015) we see a scene of dense, dark foliage with an ultramarine sky glowing through the treetops. Further down among the trunks is a glowing green orb, calling to mind popular folk tales of Extraterrestrial encounters in the woods. Many of us came of age with shows like Twin Peaks and the X Files, both of which contributed to the paranormal allure of the Pacific Northwest. Painters may even have more in common with Mulder and Scully than you think. As Cable says about painters, "there's something about staying with that thing, pursuing it for so long, that it continually gets more mysterious as it unfolds. That is the reward."
Cable will be showing work at the Seattle Art Fair (August 1-3) with Linda Hodges Gallery, will be showing at Linda Hodges Gallery in September 2019, and will be showing Cascadia, an immersive glass installation, at SeaTac International Airport, Concourse C Terminal, in November 2019. Check him out on Instagram to see what he’s up to next! @cablegriffithstudio
(All Images here are shown courtesy of the Artist and Linda Hodges Gallery)