The paintings and writings of Tim Cantor undeniably hold reason, and in that dialogue, generate an abundance of questions. Questions of their meanings. Questions within ourselves. En masse, they are chaotic, diverse, inexplicable, and yet, the artist conveys them with intense feeling and exacting precision. They are an extraordinary mixture of thought that eagerly transpires from one determined soul. Most often, Tim Cantor clearly directs his intent effortlessly and absolute, and sometimes he is adrift in his own mayhem, seeking sense. Nonetheless, buried in his paintings, little veiled things etch his acceptance to his tangled ways.
Affinité is a body of work that fondly embraces
the fever of question. Just when we think we
sense direction and have come to grasp Tim
Cantor's point of view, he stuns our prediction
with the unexpected. Deliberate or not, rational
or not, his art thrives in the midst of his own
eternal change. His paintings have haunted
their way to reverence, yet remain defiantly
mysterious. Tim Cantor is alive, and thus, a
modern artist. Yet, contrary to the rush of
current day, he expounds on the meticulous
techniques of historical painting, while at the same time, allowing his visions to roam vastly free; evasive, impulsive and unorthodox. This unparalleled mix of old world perfection with his unrestricted artistry has dubbed him a riddle, eluding him of classification ― perhaps placing him in a genre uniquely his own. Affinité leads a path to a fantastical convergence of his creative nature, bringing an array of imagery that continues to flourish on the shoulders of his tempestuous visions.
Affinité is the first exhibition in over three years that Tim Cantor has created exclusively for his sole intention. These new paintings were steadily developing during an exciting stretch of time, which included creating the famed cover for Imagine Dragon's album Smoke + Mirrors. As the album reached number one on charts across world and went platinum, the artist traveled with the band on their world tour, influencing stage designs and music video productions. As well, he presented his art to millions in a museum structured solo exhibition at Imagine Dragon concerts throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He also displayed solo gallery exhibitions of his paintings and designs for Smoke + Mirrors in Las Vegas, London, and Paris. And yet, in the midst of the thrill of those unforeseen experiences, Tim Cantor held onto his enduring sights, sketched his own distinctive thoughts, and continued to grow.
A collective exhibition created in the thick of stimulus, Affinité is, as well, the curious title of one of his new paintings that both questions and defies the threads of fate. The queries and quandaries are immeasurable in the temper of Tim Cantor's paintings as they reach out, more than ever, in all directions. They are sporadic and far from straightforward. However, to study them deeply, an unmistakable sway will be found within every one of his compositions. The positioning of the hands, curled and taut, tells us there's a bit of fight in the mix of sorrow. Light bleeding through from above, is this hope? Is this an encouraging fate? Expressionistic strokes of a background might discern to us that he is vexed by the surrounding world? Conversely, strict careful lines might reveal his attachments, evidence of who he loves?
Perhaps the most worthy question answered is the one that encompasses all of Tim Cantor's paintings as a whole ― and reveals his own fulfillment and moral kinship to what he deems truly important in life: Ambition. Contentment blooms in the ability to question life's substance, and scorn its futility with ambition. If one thing ties Tim Cantor's broad impressions together, it is his absolute determination; his intense passion for creation that keeps him fixated every night, from midnight until dawn, besieged with irrepressible inspiration.
This exhibition is an impeccable consequence of Tim Cantor's infatuation with painting. The anomalous correlation of imagery to emotion is undoubtedly a trait bonded to Tim Cantor and the
evocative nature of his work. No logical deduction could tell us that a man floating in a field, birds bursting from his torso, would be a metaphor for a life-changing epiphany. Nor could one predict that the sole portrait of a blind girl could be the artist's conjured design to remind him not to take for granted his circumstances. Blurring a line between Baroque and Neoclassic, a florid portrait of his wife Amy holds the volatile substance of the artist's weakness ― love and the suppression of madness merge in this communiqué that imparts his wife as the source of his tranquility and strength. On another panel we find the likeness of a child, cloaked as the face of
an elder's last words. Further paintings grant the sea as mortality, trees as eternity, and a deer on a bed as the body of yourself ― comfortable, caged, and full of quandary.
Above all, Tim Cantor’s works are finely painted stories. Renditions of his imaginative notions. With remarkable ability of his medium, he paints his most personal and intense thoughts as a way of combating his fears and sharing his loves. Indeed, his paintings are products of his genuine emotions, translated diversely, and revealed to us as tangible impressions; alive as subjects. Birds as abandonment, as freedom, so polished that one can feel the hollow in the bones of their feathers. The skin of worn hands, eyes and faces tinged with a pallid dust or scoured soil, speaking the impediments of pain. Folds of fabric that reflect numerous sources of light, flowing across contours and bringing beauty into sentiment. Everything painted so specific, so careful and loved ― everything filled with reason and meaning. However, those reasons and meanings can elude connection. And so he writes of their nuance... sometimes.
Carefully written and far from ordinary, the poetic scripts that Tim Cantor does compose are supportive stories that marry the impenetrable connection of his visions to his thoughts. His approach is a maze. His writings guide the way. At times, the stories come first and instigate his visual conceptions. More often, he forms them as answers to himself and his own impulsive sights. There is no formula or common approach. Sometimes they arrive, sometimes they don't. But when the artist does write about his paintings, he reveals more of himself; more of his feelings and of his true intent.
However, even within his expressive writings, there is no absolute declaration that Tim Cantor presses upon us. He gives us enough to sense his intention, yet leaves plenty for us to meet ourselves in his impressions. The choice is ours to quietly enjoy his paintings for their exquisite exterior, or to tread deeper, and profoundly engage their complexity. Some will receive them as a feast for their senses. Some will suffer them, affected by ties to their own memories and understandings. And others will simply love them for what they are: Thoughtful inventions of one artist's obsession. They prove that the world is beautifully illogical ― that the bedlam of fire spinning in an artist's mind can somehow make sense, and that even in the height of chaos and distraction, great passion alone can flourish. Tim Cantor bolsters that wondrous reality to its extreme ― he paints his strange thoughts, he loves his wife completely, and he craves the unknown. Affinité is an exhibition of his absolute heart. It is his existence. It is his water and means and indomitable aim. It is the outcome of ambition, reaching into our sights, embracing us with contentment, luring us with enthrallment, and leaving us with question marks, hovering in our heads.
ON EXHIBITION NOW