Painting serves as a generator for all of my work, it is an autonomous act which enables the gestation of ideas, simply through enacting its process of production. Through the act of painting I actively investigate concepts of contemporary art as a Post Internet Practice, screen sized works are informed by hand-held networked technology being ubiquitous in everyday life and acknowledge the effect of the Internet upon the artwork and its distribution process.
The original images referenced in the micro-oil paintings are harvested from the Internet with a smartphone and then reproduced as small screen sized paintings each 7 x9 cm. Following their initial production, the micro-oil paintings are exhibited in a “flash mob” style, as temporary self-organised fluid interventions in (restricted) public space. At this point the paintings are documented and redistributed online, joining a throng of existing digital images. This conscious post-production process incorporates the viral image distribution tactics favoured by social networks to enable a wider (potentially international) dissemination of the painting(s). Distributing the paintings online, ensures that the paintings become images viewed again through a screen, replicating the quality of their source material and adding layers into the viewing process.
The sources of the micro-oil paintings imagery are fragile and transient (often sourced through Google image searches) and can generally only be viewed through a screen. Rendering unstable imagery in oil-paint transforms an insecure temporal image into a permanent solid object and serve to chart our relationship with screens as extensions of ourselves, evidenced through the popularity of the self-scrutinising and narcissistic selfie. Always prepared for public broadcast, with ensuing anxiety caused by hyper self-awareness. To paint is to delight in texture, to experience first hand that which cannot be experienced through a screen.
(In the image above) the painting was created with deliberate intention, to broadcast an image of a situation where smartphone cameras were forbidden. The online dissemination of the painted image became a critical document, eluding to the idea of a place where the public recording and the online circulation of images is forbidden. Without the painting as a document no images of that place would be circulated freely online. (Inside Marina Abravachich’s exhibition at the Serptentine, 2014)