Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How does 'self-imposed dislocation influence art production?

In his latest suite of paintings, new muse of artist James Rieck is his 'self-imposed dislocation.' About eight months ago, he uprooted his Baltimore’s long-time residence and studio/safe house, to transplant himself 'on location' - the home of infinite 'locations' - in downtown Los Angeles, CA.

According to him, one's relationship with the immediate environ is a vital definer of how one feels about oneself and the world around. The studio is the place where the artist usually feels at ease to experiment. The core idea behind the new series is to know what effective a different setting will have on an artist's 'natural' approach.
  • Does one's environment affect the outcome? What happens when one consciously disrupts their 'safe' environment, and therefore the 'natural' outcome of their artwork? This is the basic idea - the pursuit of dislocation or purposeful disruption to find a different result.
  • The mere fact that these simplified scenarios may seamlessly coexist, yet not exist, are the myths perpetuated by the magic of the movie industry. It is this disconnect between posturing and position that has fascinated Rieck about his new surroundings.
  • Rieck has always sifted source material from commercial advertising catalogs. But for first time, the artist has deviated away from exclusively using commercial catalogs by introducing imagery from manufactured studio locations.
  • It is obvious that the self-imposed exile to Hollywood and the celluloid scene of LA has influenced his current work. Like the magic of movies, our beliefs are momentarily suspended as we gaze at these images of beautiful people, visiting exotic locations, indulging in the finest that life has to offer, though knowing the compositions are make-believe.
The paintings are captivating compositions painted from deft digitally composited studies of figures in grandiose landscapes. They are clearly models poached from ads; the landscapes are classic displays of manufactured nature; but combined, they are 'on location'!

The clothing models have been transported to exotic lands, but we know that they are not actually there. These people were not in these places; they were not interacting with the nature. This revelation gives an almost universal feel of displacement, and yet no matter how disquieting, there’s a peaceful feeling of serenity, as if that’s exactly how the compositions and narrativesshould be.

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