Artist Statement

My work is about observation rather than self-expression. I test ideas until I find interesting repeatable solutions that strike me as being aesthetically interesting. There is always a ‘What if…?’ at work.

What’s driving me in my studio is to come up with ways to work that happen on their own once the system is put in place that identify a constructive system where chance can be turned loose to see what happens, and then control those chance events by the limitations put on it by the system I created. I never know what’s going to happen from one moment to the next and am always tweaking the formulas. I perform a human version of mimicking the processes of natural growth, using the theme of human language to show that our language gets in the way of our understanding of the natural processes that are all around us all the time.

I’m not trying to make something that’s merely beautiful. There is a constant migration of aesthetic taste both personally and culturally. The idea of beauty is not stable so I think more about elegance and elegant solutions in the scientific use of the term. I want my work to have those elements in it that cause inspiration for contemplation beyond an arbitrary standard of beauty. My goal is timelessness – to stand outside of the fleeting fashions of a given moment. Of course, it is impossible to stand outside of the age you are living in which drive the entire culture.

Cecil Touchon in the Studio. Photo by Noor-un-nisa Touchon


Cecil Touchon (b. 1956) is a painter, performance artist, collector, draftsman, photographer, and curator. He was born in Austin, Texas and received his BFA from the University of Texas at Arlington. Touchon has played a major role in the fine arts arena for well over two decades and has been the most influential through his collage work.

Using the techniques of collage, he reassembles portions of letter fonts from billboards and printed material into pure abstractions that transform verbal language into a form of visual architecture. Touchon translates his collages into large-scale paintings using trompe l’oeil techniques to create bold and striking compositions.

Touchon’s work was exhibited in the 2001 and 2009 Venice Biennale has shown up in hit movies, TV shows, and on the Paris runway via the avant-garde fashion designer Rei Kawakubo.

He is a founding member of the 1987 Post-Dogmatist Group as well as a respected member of the Art Mail and Fluxus communities. His works are found in multiple corporate collections including those of IBM, HBO, J.P. Morgan Bank, American Airlines, American Express, Citibank, Las Vegas’s Bellagio Hotel, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Gap, Hallmark, and the Sanyo Corporation.

His work is also included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, the Tate Modern, London, UK, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, Cambridge, MA, Archivo Francesco Conz, Verona Italy, and the Glasgow School of Art Library, UK.