“What is a scientific image of the body, and what is artistic? When is a representation of the human body clinical, and when erotic?” ~ Philippe Comar, The Images of the Body, 1993 I use abstract oil painting to address new scientific technologies, specifically biotechnology. My subject matter is genetic mutation experiments observed through the compound microscope. My goal is for the work to exist in the realm between scientific experimentation and fine art. In these paintings, I begin with referencing a photograph of embryo experimentation. I build up the surface of my painting with thin layers of color to achieve an object that exists beyond the photograph. My paintings focus on creating a three-dimensional terrain on a two-dimensional surface. This slower process contrasts with the speed of light that biotechnology travels forward. “The thing about biotechnology that surprises most people is that it has produced so many applications so rapidly. Its very pace of development leaves an uneasy feeling of having missed something along the way, as if the whole biotechnology business fell out of the sky fully formed while we were out walking the dog. ~Eric S. Grace Biotechnology Unzipped, 1997 The removal process from a microscope slide to a photograph and then transferring the photographic image to a painted image allows me to create a new object that is separate but connected to the original subject matter. The images in my paintings allow me to play with scale. The terrain in these images can be manipulated to shrink or expand, and the resulting work can sway from appearing microscopic to macroscopic. Looking at the work, often one sees different worlds emerge, and shapes start to become like human faces, lakes, or forests, as the mind tries to make sense of them. There is a clear sense of beauty in the microscopic images, the unique organic forms, and the patterns they intuitively seem to have. I am endlessly fascinated with finding the aesthetic in science and examining its relationship with art. My influences can be found in artists who incorporate the advances of science into their work such as Hunter O'Reilly, Justine Cooper, Eduardo Kac, Gunther Von Hagens, and I?igo Manglano-Ovalle. The time-consuming layers found in paintings by Vija Celmins have also influenced my painting style.
Biography: Jennifer Murray B. Renton, Washington BFA Western Washington University Painting MFA candidate Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Country: United States
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