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Brooklyn, New York 2014

 

This intimate show featured work from two artists, Christina Blue and Peter Valenti. United in the medium and in the concept which inspired that artists' processes, the three prints displayed here were manipulated in a manner that references printmaking itself: gradual additions and removals to create an image.

 

Untitled by Christina Blue

 

The artist produced an inkjet print by digitally assembling parts of a photograph of a riot scene— a found image. She manipulated the piece using a palm sander to take away some of the printed information in a painterly and intuitive action. Employing a second found element— a kitchen fan's worn blade displayed on an adjacent wall— Christina pushed Pro Styl hair gel over the print, adding many of the brown marks with her highly physical gesture. The print's abstract and energetic pattern is grounded in concrete concepts. Christina's work discusses complex notions of blackness from both a personal and political standpoint. Within the framework of Black Aesthetic ideologies, the artist explores "conflicts of identity and race in a wider socio-historical context." Thus, her choice of Pro Styl is intentional since this specific brand conjures memories of her family members using the gel when she was growing up. The scrap metal— part of a larger found object— and the evocation of a riot scene underline the urban setting that Christina associates with her youth and her family history. Displayed together, the print and metal sculpture reveal the artist's formal technique while asserting her past and cultural views.

 

Untitled by Peter Valenti

 

The artists' two prints shown here are a part of a series in which he explores the effect of the sun on paper as mediated by an image. Peter creates transparencies of photographs sourced from the Internet; he affixes them to different paper types and, next, both to a window, leaving the pages in the sun until they are bleached. A ghostly image remains after adding sunlight to subtract pigment— a process embodying both construction and destruction. The artist first became drawn to the sun's transformative power after seeing cork board discolored by rectangles from papers previously attached to it— a "visual history" of the object. Taking up a similar technique in which visual aspects are affected by time, Peter chose images from Google and Facebook to incorporate in there works. The artist selected them quickly and intuitively, similarly to how contemporary viewers treat photographs on the Internet. By owning the way we consume images in our current systems of sharing, Peter evokes the fluid digital space whose vastness "destroys my sense of autonomy and self while also reinforcing the 'me' in the world." When making these prints, the artist is able to meditate on images he uses to construct a visual poetry mediated by time.

 

Writeup by artist and curator, Liz Lorenz. 

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