As part of my capstone project at the University of Cincinnati, I created a series of traditional oil paintings that act as tools for me to better understand the value that traditional art still holds in a world that is becoming increasingly digitized. Each painting is a reflection of the human body as it exists in our virtual world - sterilized, objectified, and taken to an extreme that is beyond human capability. What can become of this idealized persona if depicted through the naturally flawed acts of the human body?
In an era defined by the ever-growing impact of the digital space on the physical world, separation grows between identity and reality. A new persona is born from the ones and zeroes that build the digital space—one that is stripped from its humanity and saturated with pleasure that exceeds the capabilities of human flesh. The objectifying gaze of the pixel-perfect image informs the pixel-perfect self, but through pigment the digital persona emerges from behind the screen and breathes new life. All That Glimmers observes the digital self through the sensuality of traditional oil painting, confronting the pixel-perfect image (and subsequent self) with intimacy and imperfection that only exists through human touch. The over-saturation of light-based imagery leaves room for pigment to emerge as a more nuanced form of image-making, allowing the digital self to take one step closer to humanity as it is created through acts of the human body as opposed to calculations within a computer.
However, what builds the pixel-perfect self remains its ultimate inhibitor in its journey to becoming something more, and through painterly abstractions the self falls back into its place outside the bounds of our physical reality.