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Past-Meets-Internet in Alexandra Gorczynski's New Works

Merging a classic sculptures and architectures with organic and digital elements, the Philadelphia-based artist creates dynamic, timeless landscapes.
August 26, 2015, 8:00pm
Still from Cultivated Nature, Alexandra Gorczynski, 2015. All images and materials via NewHive

An eye-­catchy amalgam of art-­from­-the-­past photographs, fused perfectly with animated ­flowers, fields, and even butterflies emerges in Landscape Paintings, a NewHive-based project by Alexandra Gorczynski. All this, brightened up with a few subtle symbols related to the artist's condition in society, demonstrates the Philadelphia-based new media artist's deep knowledge of and strong interest in history, as well as her sense of aesthetics and composition, merging meaningful classical artworks and architectures with both organic and digital elements.

Mostly imagined while recently exploring the Chateau de Versailles, these poetic, almost nostalgic, digital landscapes depict a fascinating, fleeting, and ambiguous space that offers viewers a chance to explore a smooth symbiotic environment between the real and virtual spheres.

“Alexandra has a degree in painting from RISD and brings that expertise to the web in a contemporary way, by replacing brush strokes and canvases with layers of painterly lines, images, and animations,” Lindsay Howard, curator and director of the online commissioning program at NewHive, tells The Creators Project. “Her works have a timeless quality, seamlessly blending art historical and present-day references. I appreciate how she doesn't privilege any one element more than another, instead creating compositions that allow for a peaceful co-existence between the digital and physical realms.”

To learn more about the inspirations for Landscape Paintings, and also to gain more insight into her creative process, we asked Alexandra Gorczynski a few questions.

Sun-Stained, Alexandra Gorczynski, 2015

The Creators Project: Hi Alexandra, I love the way you traverse through art history, mixing classical architecture, sculpture, painting and technology. How would you define the time period of your work?

Alexandra Gorczynski: In my work, fragments from the past collide with present technology and my process of creation. There are moments frozen alongside eternally looping videos and GIFs that create a surreal space where time cannot be defined.

The Landscape Paintings series is filled with different elements. What were some of your inspirations?

Art itself is a great inspiration for me. I use symbols that I feel represent art in the traditional sense, from images of classical sculptures to painterly brush strokes. I also find modern art to be inspiring because of the way in which artists began to play with space and materiality. Lastly, color is a very big inspiration.

What is your creative process? How did you begin this project, and what tools or software did you use to create the pieces?

I’ve always found art to be a bit like problem solving or working through a puzzle. There is never really one formula I use, but with these pieces I approach them as I would a painting or collage. I start with various components: a certain feeling, colors, visual fragments, video, or sound. I add more, then I erase, and cut and paste, and move things around, and repeat. I work through it until I’ve finally reached completion and am left with a pleasant surprise. With these works I never know how the end result will look, and it’s both challenging and rewarding for that reason.

I use a variety of tools and the elements within the works span a wide range of mediums, including painting, photography, video, as well as digital painting and editing done on the computer. It’s important that my work drift in and out of being digital during the creative process. This way the computer doesn’t take over, and I still exist in the artwork and am in control of the outcome.

What are the advantages of creating and presenting work on NewHive? How is it different than a more traditional, analog practice?

NewHive allows me to further explore and expand my artwork, and I’m able to layer images with video, GIFs, and sound to create digital paintings and collages. Despite people often using technology for speed and convenience, I still labor over each work and approach it as if it was an oil painting or marble statue.

Nightshades, Alexandra Gorczynski, 2015

What’s coming up next for you?

I’m participating in Blastosphere, an upcoming exhibition with NewHive, Reify, and Print All Over Me, which will launch next week at the Ace Hotel in New York. We translated one of my art websites from NewHive into a garment that’s encoded with augmented reality. The result is somewhat of a 3D wearable internet. I’m also working on a new body of work for an upcoming solo show at Zhulong Gallery.

Click here for Alexandra Gorczynski's Twitter, and here to view more of her work on NewHive.


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