Last week, The Suzanne Geiss Company presented "Digital Expressionism", an exhibition of new works that translate the vocabulary of digital image production into the traditional conversations surrounding painting and sculpture — the gallery itself was transformed into a "temple for the digital age".
My friend Korakrit Arunanondchai is included in "Digital Expressionism", alongside Ben Wolf Noam and Greg Parma Smith. A few days after the very well-attended opening, he took me around the gallery and we specifically chatted about his work. In the main room, two of Krit’s Untitled (History Paintings) are placed on opposite walls in conversation with each other. He calls them “History Paintings” as the process of their conception is included in the final product. Made of stretched bleached denim, Krit has layered a digital print of the flames that initially burned the canvas, placing it right where the image now stands in the work. Alongside their awareness of time, these paintings also contain a timely element in their adherence to the systems of digital art and specifically of Photoshop, with the presence of layers.
Krit describes his use of bleach, denim and fire to amount to a “democratic abstraction”, shedding away the bourgeois history of art and its expected stretched canvas. When I look at Krit’s paintings in combination with his video piece, “Painting with History in a Room Filled With Men With Funny Names 2”, the trippy opening sequence of Apocalypse Now comes to my mind. The layers of flames and soundtrack playing “This is the End” by The Doors evokes the power of the highly televised Anti-Vietnam War Movements in the late 60s. Channeling this youthful energy, unity and desire to mass-communicate, Krit’s work in "Digital Expressionism" calls to a contemporary version of such a community, kept tightly knit by the democratic digital world of the Web.
"Digital Expressionism", on now. Exhibtion runs to October 19th, 2013.