Web Gallery: LJ Lindhurst


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A fascination with pop culture and the undercurrent of threat inherent in even the most innocent of surroundings leads me to dissect the visual static of our advertising and entertainment culture. Drawing on a professional background in new media, graphic design, television broadcasting, and video art, I use an electronically altered, mediated, perspective to explore the subtext of cultural icons and images, which I then render in boldly-colored, large-scale acrylic canvases.

The subjects of my paintings are varied, but I frequently tend to dwell on images from our media and popular culture. I am particularly drawn to images that have been through several generations of media, and the resulting feeling of alienation for the viewer. For example, the original image for the painting, Iraqis on Iraqi TV came from a still frame from a satellite television broadcast reproduced in the New York Times. I photocopied this image, then scanned it in to my computer, and worked with a low-quality inkjet printout. The painting itself is the sixth generation of reproduction for this image, resulting in a mysterious, otherworldly sense for the viewer. The large-canvas treatment allows an appreciation of the beauty of such decayed images; ghosts, blurriness, and distorted foreign lettering.

Alienation is not the only subject I hope to explore; I am also fascinated by the often-overlooked visuals provided by our bombastic culture. Otherwise common and unassuming images have a sinister side that is not always readily apparent unless these images are dissected and magnified; lending a richly-colored, large-format treatment to small-scale objects such as holiday candy, snapshots, mugshots, packaging, and coupon circulars brings out the undertow of vague threat, chaos, and beauty that would otherwise be ignored. For instance, an advertisement for "Flexi-Frame" eyeglasses (Evil Child) may pass by unnoticed in the Sunday circulars, but who can ignore the smug, truly evil face on the child in this picture when it is rendered in bright colors and magnified 3,000 times?

And finally, power is an important theme; It is not by chance that the black-and-white unidentified men in suits that appear repeatedly in my work appear to be vaguely familiar but just beyond the scope of recognition to the average viewer. The importance is the symbol, the very imagery of the authority in its truest, most vaguely threatening/disapproving sense. Much of the low-lying anxiety produced by these pieces stems from that very ambiguity.