karen blair

Why Paint? In an age of digital technology the question is relevant. As an artist I am constantly considering how to synthesize the relentless bombardment of information and the wonder of new technology into a medium as old as the first cave paintings.

The ability to access images is a marvel; from Leonardo da Vinci’s elusive portraits to Bill Viola’s shifting tableaux, information is at our fingertips. My role as an artist is to sift through the accumulation, rearrange it and make it both coherent and beautiful.

Observation of the natural world is now superimposed with imagery and information coming in through the windows of various devices. It is no longer enough to record mere representations of one vision. My paintings are hieroglyphs. I use marks to record information that can be read in any spoken or visual language.

The paintings evolve over a few months with layers of marks or information bits being added, obscured, reemphasized as the narrative takes shape. The landscape is of both the visual and the informational world.

Each mark on the painting can be read as a keystroke as I edit the overload of 21st century technology into a moment caught, recorded and transformed. I am after the moment of awe; the moment of standing back and knowing that the laden image is taking flight.

The paintings should not be read as static images. In the stroke of a key or the slight turn of a lens the entire image could shift, morph and transform into something entirely different. Superimposed on this idea is the hand applied paint linking us with all of humanity and through the use of pigment with the very earth itself.