Claire Pasquier

For the past seven years I have developed two artistic styles, both dominated by a preoccupation with the virtual world of the screen. It started when I moved to San Francisco from France in 2006 and suddenly realized I was living in the very movie sets that had entertained my childhood. What were once imaginary backdrops of Hitchcock films now figured prominently in my trips to the store. It was a surreal and unsettling sensation that lead me to question the realities of virtual and real space. It was also at this same time that Facebook and social media spaces started taking hold of popular culture and redefined who and where we were as people. I found myself fascinated with the world as something we understand and live through screens and thus turned to my training as an academic painter to explain and explore these ideas.    The first of my two styles focused on cinema and my aesthetic experience of it as a child. With a palette knife I reproduced scenes from VHS tapes that had affected me and questioned my relationship with them. It was both a study in these iconic moments that now overlapped into my new geography and an artistic meditation on what the screen actually looked like. Computers had already accustomed us to flat, high definition virtual worlds but the truth is that these scenes were filled with static and  imperfections. My work has pushed me to analyze the power of these memory images, how I see them in relationship to my current life and memories, and to question the overlap of the television screen and the world around me. Recently these questions have lead me to apply the moiré effect found in old television screens to reproduced images from my personal life and Californian culture.    The second of my styles turned to the concept of the screen as a portal to our identity in the age of internet. I spent eighteen months in residence at the SFMOMA Artists Gallery painting over 180 portraits of people who contacted me through Facebook. I wanted to find a way to bridge my training as a portraitist with the concept of visual identity in a world that was becoming rapidly digital. In a day of excessive personal sharing and over exposure it was fascinating to realize how few of us actually consider our image as something outside of the digital screen space.    As I continue to explore the concept of the screen and its implications on space and identity, I hope to expand my practice and discover new meaning in an increasingly virtual world through both traditional and modern painting techniques.

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Art Made Here