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Pixel Pusher

Where: Angell Gallery @ 12 Ossington Avenue
When: January 19th – February 18th
Opening reception: Thursday January 19th 6–9 PM

Curated by Luke Painter, “Pixel Pusher” brings together 4 artists, David Clarkson, Michael Antkowiak, Jillian Kay Ross and Craig Skinner, whose painting practices have strong connections to digital processes. Although painting is a medium that is well known for its plasticity and movement, artists have continually found new ways to incorporate and mediate the techniques and methods of digital space into their paintings.

In Michael Antkowiak’s work these methods include using online content as a source that is translated through paint to canvas. Antkowiak has researched personal webcam sites that individuals set up in their homes (often every room), where anyone can view the activities of their everyday lives. Antkowiak, who is interested in voyeurism and surveillance, takes these pixilated and blurry low-resolution images and further transforms them through paint into emotionally charged, dynamic spaces.

Known for planning paintings out via digital interfaces and painting them after the fact, Jillian Ross has created an entirely virtual space that is animated through the use of 3D software and shown on a HD monitor in the gallery. The animation starts with a framed painting that is sitting on the floor of what we presume to be a gallery space. Water rises up through the floor and eventually covers the painting. The water level falls so that that the scene returns to its original configuration and the animation loops through the cycle again. The realistic looking scene becomes an unusual and irreverent narrative take on the familiar white cube of exhibition spaces.

The artists in “Pixel Pusher” are seeking new ways of incorporating diverse uses of digital media in their work. Utilizing tools found in social media and commercial 3D animation these artists provide a conversation between the rich history of painting and the technologies permeating our everyday lives.