Serving the People and Melet DTLA, a new project space founded by Bob Melet are pleased to present, Fear Eats the Soil, an exhibition featuring new work by Lucien Smith. The exhibition will open February 12th and will run through February 17th 2020.
About the exhibition Smith writes: In 1841, American painter John Rand revolutionized painting through the conception of premixed pigments in tin tubes. This became an important tool for the early impressionists who shared an interest in traveling the countryside in need of an escape from the dominant traditional French painting standards of the early 19th century. This practice became known as plien air painting.
Developments such as this have aided painting throughout history. Today we too practice a form of escapism through our devices. These powerful tools have generated a debate on their resultant effects on society. As a painter I wonder what effect this technology would have had on the impressionists. I began examining the relationship we have with images. When we look at an image, contexts allows us to interpret value and ownership. With imagery becoming abundantly present in our day to day those classifications are becoming less identifiable. Navigating through digital media as a resource I began noticing a subconscious narrative beginning to form. Images allow our imaginations to disembark from the confines of our immediate surroundings, just like the Impressionists once would. The only difference being our journeys are through the gaze of others.
Through this disconnected gaze we are able to travel great distances without ever having to step foot into the outside world. Is this a convenience or a misfortune? Were the impressionist of the 19th century merely painting windows for us to view the world through? If this is the case are we not all painters? Capturing the world through our phones to then share those perspectives with one another? And if so, what purpose then does painting serve in an age where imagery and perspective are so easily disseminated. These questions have motivated me to challenge the notion of traditional painting, it’s purpose and it’s future. Installation View