Jonathan Feldschuh


Personal Statement: Macrocosm

My most recent body of work use images from scientific exploration. I start with pictures of datasets, images captured by satellites and space observatories. All of the paintings are seen from the point of view in orbit around the earth, all but one looking out into the cosmos.

The images in this series may be seen to fall into two broad categories: maps and pictures. There are five map paintings in the show, which depict the universe. They are made on shaped canvases, either ellipses or circles, which allow for a depiction of space that in reality curves all the way around us. I think of them as maps because the objects they depict are so distant in time and space that they essentially form a flat surface, marked by differences in relative intensity. They are image of distant light, an ancient glow.

The pictures in the exhibition show objects, which although they are enormous still show some three-dimensional structure we can recognize. Hurricane shows a storm over the earth as seen from space. Nebula M1-67 shows gas being ejected from an energetic star. Solar Flares depicts activity on the surface of the sun that looks like a volcanic explosion. Whirlpool Galaxy shows the distinctive spiral shape of a nearby galaxy.

To make the actual paintings, I start with a computer image, which I manipulate with a photo-editor. I select and mix colors, and project and draw the image onto canvas. As I paint with fluid acrylic, I allow the colors to mix and swirl, flowing across their boundaries as defined in the original image. I seal the painting with multiple layers of clear acrylic, using colored pencils to define some of the chaotic, organic forms that result from flow.

-Jonathan Feldschuh

April 2002


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