Jon Rafman. ‘You Are Standing in an Open Field’, 2015
Inkjet prints mounted on dibond, resin, polystyrene
‘…his recent work explores these same themes and environments in large-format prints, depicting den desks and keyboards littered with detritus: empty energy drink- and coffee-containers, half-eaten foods gone to rot, over-the-counter pill bottles, and so on. These prints act as a kind of portal between the real world and the virtual one.
Juxtaposed with the keyboards in the foreground are stock images of waterfalls and sunsets, like those found on old desktop screensavers, or generic Homer-esque paintings of boats battling sea at storm. All six prints are covered in clear resin, which, applied unevenly and to different degrees, as if spilled or sprayed, imbues in the work a tangibility. Not to mention a cheeky joke, the resin invoking the various sticky substances—soda pop or semen—one might find around computer dens. Rafman is interested in the people who live more in virtual reality of the internet than they do in real life & where they sit behind a computer screen.’
Franz Ackermann, Going Uphill, 2013, oil on canvas, 260x566cm Gelitin, Flower Painting, 2010, plasticine on wood panel, 205x160 cm Nam June Paik, Electronic Superhighway, 1995, 51-channel video installation and neon [detail] Gerhard Richter, Tableau abstrait, 1992 Jon Rafman, Paul Klee Aztec Artefact, 2013, archival pigment print, 36x36 in Miriam Schapiro, Incognito, n.d. Nicola de Maria, Trionfo della Carita, 1987, oil, gouache, and enamel on canvas, 50x40 cm Jennifer Bartlett, House, Dots and Hatches, 1999, serigraph Takashi Murakami, Shangri-La Shangri-La Shangri-La, 2012-2016, lithograph on paper, 68x68 in Liz West, Your Colour Perception, 2015, installation of T8 fluorescent bulbs and cellulose gels in Castlefield Gallery, 5000 sq ft
For more notable artworks linked by a common theme, click here.
“Brand New Paint Job (BNPJ)” is an ongoing project that explores the topography of the virtual realm. Rafman reimagines interior spaces, furniture, and objects completely overlaid with the seminal work of modern artists.
In his photo project The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, Canadian artist Jon Rafman collects the bizarre and beautiful sights captured by the nine lenses on Google Street View camera cars as they photograph scenes around the world.
This is a typical example of how new aesthetic is simply about capturing a moment, recording or documenting events when the digital world overlaps into ours. In this case it documents quite randomly and without thought images that we later find amusing, disturbing, provoking.