Ann Conrad Stewart: Artist’s Statement
Digital technology itself is the starting point for my recent work. Motherboards, bitmap patterns, satellite maps, digital static captured on my screens and landscape seen in the zoom mode are explored in image-form. Generating vibrant pixelated patterns, computers have changed the way I look at things; however, this modern-day reality is superseded by my experience, first and foremost, as a painter. None of my work employs digital image making.
Interested in overriding the technology, I hand paint each piece. Drawn to the brush, I am inspired to share the richness, layers and depth that paint affords. As a result, the printmaking matrixes are each inked in unique ways. My drive is to let the tech inspire but my long history of painting prevail.
Wrestling with the tension between the imperfect geometry of being handmade and the predictable pixel grid of the computer-generated inspiration, the pieces operate in a binary way – seemingly abstract but at the same time solidly grounded in the real world. I hope that the organic nature of the work coupled with the utilized technology create a complex dichotomy that points beyond the images themselves.
Cross-pollinating photography, painting and printmaking, I’ve discovered technology’s ability to alter and enhance our visual reality. In this digital age of repeatable algorithms, inserting the recursive mark-making of my paintings into the tech conversation serves as a refreshing reminder of our ability to bridge the gap between these two worlds.