The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online catalog of digital images documenting the work of artists who are not affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City. Each submission is reviewed by our curatorial staff; in order to be considered for the registry, one must submit work digitally via this website.
Everyone will admit that the sunset is a cliché, yet they are still seduced by the beauty and the connection to nature, and by extension, the suggestion of something larger beyond the ordinary is possible. The sunset image is a place for subjective projection, yet the power of landscape as a metaphor of spiritual power has precedents in Romantic painters from Germany and England, and the Hudson River School painters in America.
By creating sunset landscape paintings, I create a continuum with my previous work that examines the relationship of language and image. The images from that series were, for the most part, chosen at random, as were the text references, though the pairing of words, gestures, and images were more deliberate. With the newer work, I reduced the image to a simple landscape with a single horizon line; the lower half a dark blue for ocean and the upper half a light blue sky. The text elements remained and I called these paintings Horizontals.
Before the paint is applied, the text is written onto the canvas with tape. The image is then painted over and when the painting is finished, the tape is removed to reveal text incised in the surface. The sunsets I paint, however, do not reference nature, but the representation of nature sourced through Instagram. The ubiquity of social media, through memes, democratic accessibly, and sheer volume of content has accelerated the process where a novel image becomes platitude, thoroughly testing Walter Benjamin’s premise on the aura of an image. The text in these paintings are loose mediations on political and economic discourse, and in contrast to the universality and symbolism of the landscape, represent private axioms of the author.