Turner Carroll Gallery is pleased to announce Glitched, an exhibition of artworks by California College of the Arts alumni Nina Tichava and Shawn Smith. While Tichava and Smith vary vastly in their medium and creative process, they both explore the intersections of culture, technology, and the environment through their art practices. Tichava’s offsetting of the visual linear code in her works alters the geometric form from what we expect to perceive. Smith, who conceives his sculptures by viewing images of animals through a pixelated computer screen, plays with how an image of an animal is mutated by changing the computer code within the digital image. Of course this mutated animal image is a metaphor for what happens to animals in reality when we alter their food and environment. Thus, all the animals Smith renders are on the verge of extinction.
A process-driven artist, Tichava painstakingly hand-produces effects and patterns that at first glance look as though they may have been produced by a computer or industrial machine, but upon closer inspection reveal the depth, nuance, and humanity of the artist’s hand. Her mixed media pieces are deeply layered and complex. The influence of her New Mexico upbringing in a family of weavers is evident in the overt textile-like layering of thin slices of paper. Woven textures and washes are eventually obscured further by a field of opaque white paint that at once defines geometric the forms and the space the forms occupy. Thousands of beads of paint are set into ordered grids that disintegrate as they grow outward. These multi-faceted layers of warp and weft, the rich amalgam of hybrid color, and the deconstructed grids in Tichava’s intricate works allude to the technical malfunctions or glitches in lines of code that can cause visual disruptions to appear in digital images.
Growing up in a large city where his experience of the natural world was mostly limited to the digital environment of computer and TV screens, Shawn Smith renders images of the natural world into three-dimensional sculptures. Isolating the subject from the frame and distilling its color palette down to the minimum—-just enough information to be identifiable-—he builds three-dimensional representation pixel by pixel with hand-cut, hand-dyed strips of wood. His process is intentionally laborious to contrast with the modern culture of rapidly consuming online images, and also punctuates how important each pixel is in informing the identity of an object or being. The pieces in Glitched undergo further manipulations, as in the forced distorted perspective of “Stretch” and “Squish” where Smith has recreated, in three-dimensional form, the visual effect of “stretching” or “squishing” the aspect ratio of a digital photograph.
Opening Reception Friday, June 14, 2019 from 5 to 7pm