Exhibitions 2020 - 2021

Hannah Paige

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Artist statement:

My work aims to capture the technological world and internet culture through the medium of paint. Often times, my art is used to critique and relate art conventions and art history to digital landscapes. This practise also stems from the impulsion to document fleeting digital phenomenon that may be erased by technological advances. The digital images presented in the medium of paint creates a humorous meta-narrative involving the viewer and the image. Exhibition reflects these themes. I have dubbed this genre of art Cyber Pop Art, and I hope that these pieces can become a catalyst to modern-day pop art.

To begin, the piece Untitled – Paint is a critique on painting and photography in the form of an old Windows XP laptop. The painting depicts the classic windows desktop photograph Bliss being obscured by the open Paint software window. Within the painting window is a an abstract painting form. This is nostalgic for kids from the early 2000s, as it was common for children to scribble within the paint application and then fill the lines in with colour using the paint bucket tool.

Forged Painting is a meta painting replicated from a screenshot from the video game Animal Crossing Wild World (2005) on the Nintendo DS. Within the game, the player may purchase paintings that are duplicates of paintings from real-life art historical canon. For instance, the player may purchase paintings such as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, and many more. When purchasing these works, the player must decipher if the painting is the original or a forgery by identifying the discrepancies of the painting. If the player buys a forged work and tries to sell it to the shopkeepers Timmy and Tommy, the player will be presented with the text “This is a forged painting!…forged.”

After Edward Ruscha is a parody work on pop artist Edward Ruscha’s OOF. Additionally, the title After Edward Ruscha is a play on Sherrie Levine’s work After Edward Weston, where Levine appropriated photographs by Edward Weston in order to give new context to the work. Much like the original OOF painting, After Edward Ruscha displays the three-letter word POG in virgin ultramarine blue and light cadmium yellow paint. The word POG is used in the gaming community, particularly on the online streaming platform Twitch. POG stands for play of the game and is an abbreviation of PogChamp. These words are used in order to refer to excitement or hype. If a viewer were to type :pog: into a Twitch chat, the text would convert into an emoticon of a man’s face filled with surprise and excitement. This is similar to typing “<3” in a text and having it convert into a heart emoticon. With that being said, the canvas parallels the keyboard. The word POG on the canvas elicits the emoticon in the viewers brain, much like the typed work on the keyboard present the emoticon in a chat. Similar to OOF, the painting does not need to depict an image because the text forces the image to appear in the viewers mind rather than visually in front of them.

Wingdings is based on an old Windows 95 screen. The aim of this piece was to document the aesthetic of old desktops. This work documents the iconic old teal green desktop background that was common in mid 90s desktop computers, akin to modern day colour block paintings by Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko and Yves Klein. Furthermore, there is a secret message written in the font WingDings on the desktop that reads “LOL this generic green background was actually really hard to paint. not as hard as these wingding characters tho. what even are these XD?”. This work was created as a companion piece to Untitled – Paint. Displayed on a smaller canvas than Untitled – Paint, the work shows the changing of screen display sizes as technology has advanced.

Finally, the three Word Art paintings are pieces taken from a wider incomplete series of paintings that I have been working on that reflect the word art options from Microsoft Publisher 2007.

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