The title of one of the works, Piling, might refer to the various levels on which the work can be perceived and to the different stages of its production: the various layers of painting, the engraving on the paint, the photograph and its placement in space. Moreover, just as the original painting is a palimpsest of different layers of colours and engravings, the photographs are not simply perfect reproductions of the pictorial surfaces, and their tonal quality is deliberately varied as a result of their having been taken in daylight at different times of day. In fact, Breslin accentuates the variables of time and space, both in the construction process and the perception of the representation: a painting is presented as a complex object subject to changes that are not only governed by the artist’s will but also by the work’s being placed in a precise space-time context and by the specific technical elements brought into play. The artist reveals a subjectivity that is divided and ruptured – a cultural condition announced in the author. The grids, in an attempt to piece together the broken and remnant, reveal a future implicated in the disastrous past and suggest new futures built in the white cracks.
Piling and A Family Portrait in Color are ensembles of photographic reproductions of paintings created through the layering of several monochrome and fractured surfaces. Individual fragments are placed next to each other to create revised versions of the paintings. The artist draws various signs on the paint while it was still wet which form recognizable figures that thematically allude to the interaction between individuals and a potential for violence that is also structurally implicit to the works. The artist himself describes his fascination with these themes: “I can’t help but be attracted to violence while being very afraid of it and the results. I’m still trying to figure out why. Maybe we’re not supposed to be balanced, or the human condition has won?”. Breslin chooses not to represent the painting directly, making reference to it solely by displaying photographic fragments of the initial pictorial surface. Thus, he opens up a whole new area for reflection on the subject of representation: the “original” work of art is only a starting point for a far more extensive process of reworking and perception.