acrylic,lucite,scrim,found objects; 36 x 32 in.
This painting acknowledges the ubiquity of the square in the pattern of human progress, and investigates the role of the grid in the evolution (and perhaps impending de-evolution) of culture. What began with the simple stacking of earthen or stone cubes to erect barriers to nature has escalated and morphed to our present virtual dependence on the glowing grid of entertainment and enlightenment – the digital screen.
My work seeks to combine an interpretation of the seductive power of the grid with a vision of nature locked in icy suspended animation. These pieces are comprised of multiple layers of common art and craft materials, assembled in a way that emphasizes an other-worldly appearance. Representations of natural objects are trapped behind a pixilated, vitreous screen which partly obscures, sometimes reveals, and often even highlights their position behind the painted veil. In imitation of digital screens, the paintings emit a subtle eerie glow, as if somehow lit-from-within (they aren’t).
Grids are clean, predictable, controllable, and steadfastly serve the creative impulse. They are still our best tool for barrier-building, especially when they are easily pierced with windows – affording us a peek at what we are sheltering ourselves from.
The digital screen – a grid of stained light – enables us to view the world through the periscope of someone else’s explorations. Technical wizardry renders these “experiences” in enough satisfying detail that many would be content to never again set foot outside on grass or soil.
© Julie Ganser