Jerald Silva paints in a lyrical poetic style that is in direct contrast to his commonplace subject matter. It is the sort of technique that one usually associates with conservative motifs: still lifes, landscapes and portraits. Actually, Silva does embrace these tried -and-true subjects, but it is his stretching of style and injection of irony that gives his work added appeal. (Ellen Schlesinger, Sacramento Bee, 1980)
Known as a realist, Jerald Silva has spent much of his career redefining “realism.” Silva’s realism may be painstaking in its rendition of objects observed in the world around him, but it is anything but naturalistic. It rearranges, modifies, even falsifies the nature of observed things and their relationships to one another, all according to the subjective responses of the artist. It could even be said that Silva indulges his own point of view at the expense of veracity. In that respect he capitalizes on one of the permissions given uniquely by painting; to challenge perception by giving new order to the perceived. Silva does not defy veracity; he defies mere veracity.
The concept of fogged windows: windows that open onto a landscape, a city or a garden, but we - the viewer and I - are inside a room. These paintings are a kind of metaphor of drawing as a gesture: you make a trace on a blank sheet and this trace opens a world of possibilities. The surface disappears from our consciousness. Pass your hand over a misty window and the window opens to the outside world. Like drawing on paper, every trace counts.
My technical process is very simple: it is important that the graffiti on the windows have no connection with the landscape behind. We feel intimacy in these paintings because we have all made such drawings. I first paint graffiti with rubber cement. Once the paint is sprayed and the color has behaved as it sees fit, remove the cement to reveal the white paper underneath.The Art of Watercolour (9) Jerald Silva