janie Samuels

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janie Samuels
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Artist Statement
I work in a variety of media: painting, drawing, photography and video. The photographic gel transfer and oil on panel works are landscapes and narratives both urban and rural, an intimate portrait from everyday life. The photographs are manipulated in Photoshop, printed and transferred to panels face down, absorbed by the gel medium and the remaining paper on the surface stripped away. The panels are then painted in oil and varnished. Each work, although derived from my photographs is unique. The photo-gel transfers in this exhibition are transferred onto glass I found on the streets in Brooklyn. My work is simultaneously political and personal, universal and intimate. It is often humorous and ironic, emotional, sometimes challenging, but always inviting. My work has been and always will be about "humanity," which is increasingly relevant, as we become more inured to and inundated with technology which often desensitizes us and distances us from human interaction. It is not pertinent to understanding the painting to know from what specific event this image was taken nor is important to know who these people are. I hope to create an image that is universal in its content, but intimate and personal enough to remind the viewer of the individuality of those portrayed. The work captures a glimpse of a provocative or emotionally charged moment, and as such is either situational or narrative. Something happened before the depicted scene and something will happen after, the painting being the key to both. I believe, like Kandinsky, that color and form have inherent expressive qualities. Like Matisse, I am interested in how color, pattern and form break down abstractly. This contradiction of expressive and formal qualities is fundamental to the work. I use line to convey movement and to reaffirm the linear aspect of the canvas. Some of the imagery is modeled to create the illusion of volume. Other areas are comprised of highly hued flat blocks of color. The painting works narratively and abstractly, and the canvas has an intrinsic balance of form and content. The images are often magnified and cropped, creating a scale that pulls the observer into the canvas so that he is grabbed by the immediacy of the image and then slowly absorbed into the experience of the narrative.
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