LA-based artist, Tomory Dodge, deals with the fragmentation of color. His chaotic color is swiped, sponged, and splattered across the canvas, creating motion and friction between the elements. Among the paint lies mica, providing the canvas with a luminous glow and sheen depending on the viewpoint. These visible brushstrokes and metallic scrapings make the piece decorative, utilizing color and composition to create abstraction. However, Dodge's is inspired by more complex concepts, which can be seen in Daisy Cutter (2008), a piece that is named after a weapon used in both the Vietnam and Afghanistan war. The use of political symbolism in Dodge's work allows for a powerful and a more contextual viewing.
With more knowledge of this context, Dodge and his structured chaos illustrate traits of Abstract Expressionism. During the 1940's, Abstract Expressionism was an art movement that showcased the frustration and pain that was so prevalent following World War II. Many of the artists were soldiers themselves and Expressionism, in the largest sense, produced many other art movements all centered on concepts of emotion and connection rather than pure aesthetics and decoration. Through the use of color and brushstroke (think Jackson Pollock's infamous splattered wonders), these artists created a new dialogue about the human condition that relied on the viewer's interpretation of the work versus constructing a narrative.
This realized friction can be seen within Dodge's turbulent work. The colorful compositions lean towards decorative, but similarly acknowledges its predecessors through the raw brushstrokes. Although the transitional hues and texture tease the eye, they lead the viewer into a field that allows for thought. Dodge displays intention with his chaos, drawing forth emotions and reflection. As designer Isaac Mizrahi recently stated while discussing a piece he owns by Dodge, "You look at the piece and go, oh my God, it's the end of the world, but what a happy end of the world".