Experiencing Aesthetic Comfort
Ryan McGinness' work has a weird way of drawing you in, without you knowing exactly why. His densely layered graphic imagery is at once beautiful, confusing and familiar; but since beginning to experiment with pigments in the laboratory/studio, his latest exhibition Aesthetic Comfort has all new secrets to reveal.
Aesthetic Comfort was unveiled this Friday at Artcore, featuring a specially designed blacklight gallery set up by the artist himself, revealing the intricate detail of his work in a whole new light. Like all intriguing artists, McGinness designed this experiential exhibit with a greater purpose: a statement against 'digitally consumed' art, and as a reward for those who come out to experience the exhibit first hand.
McGinness is by no means anti-digital, but as he explained during preparations for the exhibit opening, Aesthetic Comfort is a bit of a f-you to those who consume art mainly via jpgs and reproductions on screen. However he also seems excited to be in Toronto to share his work - particularly given the performance value (or experience value) of this particular collection.
"I wanted to push pigments that can only be seen in person, under certain wavelengths; that you could only experience in front of the paint," explained McGinness, who makes his process sound more like a science than an art. His past collections have shown an extraordinary evolution of his bold graphic layering and 'spirographic' complexity.
His most recent collection, A Shadow Feeling of Loss in Milan, appears to be almost the exact opposite of this exhibit. The darkness of Big Bang (above) demonstrates many of the same techniques and images used in the new collection, but doesn't have the first hand 'purposeful emergence' McGinness planned for the Toronto blacklight exhibit.
By changing the colour spectrum, he achieved the blacklight effect; but the amazing thing is that his pieces look completely different under normal lighting conditions. The upper layers are done using a semi-metallic/translucent pigment, achieving a truly unique effect that can only be experienced in person.
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