Artist Statement

 

Using a combination of digital illustration and painting tools, I examine the entanglements that make up our visual culture, language, and history. I pull ready-made subjects from historical European paintings and weave them together. At first, the spatial cohesion maintains the illusion of a unified image, yet it is intended to break apart under scrutiny. Many of the paintings I draw from, the figures of color are experiencing an unfortunate event, or are positioned as the undermined figure in the painting. I obtain these characters and subjects within historical paintings and begin creating scenarios and portraits of these subjects as the main focus of the compositions. The figures are symbols of a culture and a time period; they provide a foil to my retelling of their fiction.

 

I began researching the linguistics, semiotics, and perspective of cubism, specifically the syntagmatic chains and geometric substrates in how space is composed. Following the theory of syntagmatic chains throughout the history of paintings and cubist collage, I realized I could use these subjects and move them forward in time as pieces of visual information. The use of a contemporary medium allows me to create a narrative better formatted to our time. By manipulating and transplanting the original figure and space I reclaim and change the significance of what these subjects now mean. Removing them from their original compositions gives me the ability to retell their future. Rather than simply exposing their position, I deconstruct painting’s structures of power with digital tools, allowing the medium and the subject to exist in a new light.

 

- Brea