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Corey Drieth’s Secret Love Is Ready to Romance Your Walls

My Secret Love #2 by Corey Drieth
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 30"x40" ($2400)

Love is in the air, and we have Corey Drieth’s new edition to thank. Sure, Valentine’s Day is a week away so you’d think the holiday would be to blame for the hearts in our eyes, but team 20x200 is atwitter with affection for this abstraction: My Secret Love #2. (You should have guessed our butterflies would be the product of some hardcore, G-rated art amour.)

Drieth draws inspiration from pacifist spiritual traditions that place importance on self-reflection, self-control and expression of the divine in the everyday—Quakerism and Zen Buddhism in particular. In this edition, Drieth’s sharply controlled line work is contrasted by the boundaries of the black streak, which quaver slightly. One might say this gesture hints at a subtle loss of self-control, or perhaps it’s a reminder of the beauty of imperfection. What we can say for sure is that the juxtaposition of straight lines and those that are subtly off-kilter keeps the eye curious.

Drieth painted this piece on wood (as he did his earlier editions), embedding another opposition in the image from the get-go: the organic striations of visible wood grain beneath man-made, geometric bands of color. Taking it all in, the viewer has to consider how the painted surface and underlying wooden texture visually interact. In some ways, the paint imposes unnatural order onto the wood grain. On the other hand, by revealing the natural design of the wood Drieth gives us a window into his process—and gently urges us to imagine ourselves in the course of artistic creation.

The beating heart of the artwork is the pink square pumping at the bottom of that vertical black swath. Here we have another thoughtful juxtaposition: The predominantly neutral colors contrast with the bright pop of pink, which stands out like a single flower in a concrete field. Fun fact: the old-school verb “to pink” means “to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern”. Drieth’s pink square certainly punches through this print in the most satisfying manner.

The simple structure of My Secret Love #2 invites insights, encouraging pause for reflection and a much-needed break from the fast-paced world we live in. Line and color are used precisely, methodically, perhaps even meditatively. The resulting image is obscure, elliptical even. At the same time it’s also approachable, inviting, recognizable—like the passing glimpse of an unplaceable but familiar face in a crowd. A quiet tone overlaying a single, clear sentence that’s just out of focus.

Secret’s out: Corey Drieth’s My Secret Love #2 is the suitor your walls have been waiting for.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200