Two recent paintings seen in Washington DC have nailed the portrayal of static versus dynamic information.
A Losing Battle by Nathan Ota from Tug of War, curated by Annie Adjchavanich at Hemphill Fine Arts: In this beautiful execution, the circles, lines, and stars show a fixed points of view over an eternally changing growing tree.
ARTIST STATEMENT: I painted the Losing Battle over some of my experiences as an educator at the colleges I teach at. Not all my experiences are negative but I definitely see a change in work habits and interest in just hard work. When Annie at the BSFA invited me to contribute to the show and told me that the show was called,”Tug of War”, I couldn’t help but think about the constant battle between student and teacher. I had a series of paintings that depicted young flightless birds trying to leave the nest for the first time and some fly away with no trouble and some just can’t seem to take that first leap. This painting is another addition to that series of tree birdhouses.
Flight (c) Jessi Moore
Seen at Artomatic 2007: Jessi Moore is currently developing a method of documenting street scenes on video and translating each individual motion from the recorded scene onto canvas and other surfaces. Her strokes and line quality have become a language of her own, used to communicate the unique interactions that take place in an urban setting. Her statement is below.
The image above, provided by the artist, shows dynamic birds flying past a static building. The display at artomatic has a video playing with birds and people moving across a park. Jessi Moore masks out fixed elements like benches and walls then lightly spray paints white onto a piece of plywood. Moving elements like birds are quickly drawn using a sharpie on top of the fixed visual information.
Intersection (c) Jessi Moore
Jessi Moore is a local artist who focuses on the contrast between architecture and the movement of life within urban landscapes. Her paintings and drawings are derived from videos shot at various intersections, metro stops, and parks in Washington DC. She began this concentration while living and working in Rome during her senior year at Rhode Island School of Design. As someone who has always been greatly influenced by her surroundings, the constant buzz of the Roman streets and the lifestyle in a large European city inspired her to study the nearby piazzas and streets in her sketchbook. Later she began documenting these scenes with video recordings and painting and drawing from the recordings. Jessi has also been greatly influenced by the film Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance by Godfrey Reggio, 1982. This documentary film is a vision of the collision of two different worlds, urban life and technology versus the environment.
“There seems to be no ability to see beyond, to see that we have encased ourselves in an artificial environment that has remarkably replaced the original, nature itself. We do not live with nature any longer; we live above it, off of it as it were. Nature has become the resource to keep this artificial or new nature alive.”
It is her belief that many people seem to only pass through spaces rather than living in them. It is as if the city has provided a large landscape of traveling routes solely for transportation from one place to another. In DC especially there seems to be very little interaction between these travelers. Slowly after observing one spot for a long period of time, the buildings and surrounding architectural forms become very still and peaceful against the constant movement of life.