“On Looking” is a collection of large-scale oil paintings that investigates the chasm between naturalized representation and non-objective abstraction. The exhibition is a reflection on the pleasure of looking irrespective of context. In this body of work, I mine the museum environment to visually (and conceptually) flatten my perceptions into pure aesthetic stimuli. References are added and eliminated according to visual associations rather than accuracy. The resulting images are combinations of dissected visual experiences that filter the natural, cultural, and artistic artifacts into color, light, and shape.
I choose the museum as context for my discussion because of its peculiar simultaneity. A museum display functions as both a specific historical record and a platform for impartial visual analysis. Accompanying labels and text can help provide context, but ultimately the works are housed within an artificial environment designed for the purpose of looking. The intensifying lights and highly polished surfaces aestheticize rather than contextualize the artifacts. Thus, “On Looking” re-presents these visual stimuli irrespective of historical or cultural context, reducing the objects to confectionary vehicles for color, light, and shape.