This series of Bird's paintings re-presents photos of nuclear bomb blasts, from the National Archive and published sources. Looking at Roth's images one immediately notices that the work does not follow a single unified theme. There are urban scenes, isolated architecture and housing blocks as well as landscapes. People move about within these spaces but they could just as well be empty.
Everything that ever existed still exists
This series of paintings re-presents photos of nuclear bomb blasts. As reference material I use government photos from the National Archive and published sources. The images tend to be somewhat familiar, as there are a limited number of photographs documenting a discrete number of events.
This imagery is defamiliarized by isolating the explosion in the center of a blank page- the setting is removed and the form of the blast appears abstract or biological. In the paintings any details that would assist a historical reading have been omitted, so that scale becomes difficult to make out; what remains are organic looking forms rendered in intricate detail, floating in expanses of white. Some pieces are minutely rendered in watercolor, as if I have gone through a process of examining every grain of the photograph without grasping the event pictured as a whole. These pieces are small compared to a person, so they might be mistaken for images of something microscopic. Sometimes the explosions are compounded into landscapes or growths. p;nbsp;
Other times the black and white photos are reinterpreted as glowing sunsets, expressing nostalgia for the idea of the end. The core issue of this imagery is the distance inherent in it, the built in barrier to understanding the meaning or content.
Some of the pieces include pencil lines, positing rulers by which to measure. The concern with accuracy, cataloging, tabulation reveals an underlying anxiety about the limits of knowing, of empathy, as well as other forms of understanding. The paintings attempt to duplicate mental distancing techniques. The formality and static-ness, the clean paper and cool shades of watercolor disassociate aesthetic appreciation from recognition of the subject.
The Paul Kopeikin Gallery is proud to present a second exhibition by German photographer Lukas Roth. The exhibition opens Saturday, April 9th and runs through May 12th. A reception will take place on Saturday, April 9th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. The reception is free and open to the public.
I make pictures out of phenomenon of perception that cannot be directly photographed. Unlike the camera, our eyes transfer information to the brain, where it is processed, filtered and interpreted, before being 'saved' as memory. I reconstruct the personal impression of a place into an apparently normal or straight picture, so that it will be perceptible by the spectator as directly as possible. --Lukas Roth
Looking at Lukas Roth´s images one immediately notices that the work does not follow a single unified theme. There are urban scenes, isolated architecture and housing blocks as well as landscapes. People move about within these spaces but they could just as well be empty. The surface of the photographs appear at first to have nothing unusual about them So it isn´t the objective documentation of an object or a situation that is of interest to the Artist. Instead an almost subliminal lack of information forces the viewer to embark on a journey into the images, both exciting and unsettling, to search for the source of this uneasiness.
In order for Roth to create his photograph, he takes hundreds of digital pictures of one location or subject. He then creates an image that incorporates various elements from the hundreds of digital images and seamlessly recomposing them in a constructed image that more closely resembles what was seen by the naked eye. Roth creates idealized spatial concepts that rely on radically manipulating perspectives, axes, sizes and proportions. It is in the process of viewing that the viewer may unzip Roth's bag of tricks, tracking down all of the artist's visible computer-graphical manipulations become a game of obsessive viewing.
Image: LuKas Roth
Opening 9 April 2011
2766 La Cienega Blvd (just north of Washington) Los Angeles
hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11am - 5pm