Colorbars set

Part of the Staring at Screens series.

Acrylic on tear-off gift wrapping paper from the book 18th-Century English Floral Patterns
Painted over the course of winter 2009 – spring 2010

18th Century English Floral PatternsExploring another facet of screens, color science, art/creativity, what the human eye sees/absorbs/interprets/reproduces in this set. Specifically the idea of art as decoration, like wallpaper, as a receding into the backdrop of living spaces, not really serving an intellectual/spiritual/emotional purpose except to compliment the furnishings. Yet why do we decorate? We still feel these trappings provide a touchstone for self-identification, an object we see that expresses how we feel inside, a thing we connect with emotionally. In the Colorbars set, the connection we have to decoration has been broken down into math, a means for machines to reproduce our visible spectrum through a glass screen. I painted these in a faux naïve style not to much to show the rudimentary function of machine, but to demonstrate the human impulse to reproduce things visually AND to take in images others have reproduced, whether it’s taking snapshots on vacation or watching television. However, I am also wondering if these things are imposed on us by western society. Do we follow these threads because we are at leisure to do so? Is it because of our educational canon, that one be “well-rounded”? Or is it truly some sort of instinct? Do children enjoy coloring in coloring books, would they do it naturally, or do they do it because it’s an activity directed to them by authority? What if we weren’t attached to images?

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