Friday, June 1, 2012
PDX Art: Artist profile "Laura Ross Paul"
In her latest body of work Laura Ross Paul seems to ask the question "when are we truly connected, when is technology a good thing and when does it become the main attraction of our life and thus separating us from nature".
In the center of her new body of work are not just humans in urban or other settings but humans using their devices to share their personal moments with others. Each depiction is lit not just by natural light but also spot lighted by gadgets, which take on almost mythical powers to eliminate the tableau.
Considering the just recent development of such wireless technology this would have seemed like a miracle to anyone growing up just a few decades ago. In this new process we are logged together in totally new ways.
We are talking about the i-Pad generation which doesn’t know anything about a world pre Alexander Graham Bell or doesn’t even know who he was.
The world is lit up and so are we, tinted in a new glow, almost like in a holy picture where the beams of light come from above just this time we are the ones shooting the beams of light back into the sky.
These paintings are not a criticism but more like the watchful, observing but loving eye of a parent.
The message seems to be that "touch comes in a whole new way. Nevertheless if you stay open to it will touch you and so will these paintings."
Quote by Laura Ross Paul:
"There are great mysteries everywhere that beguile me. Painting is my way of sorting them out. I’m a careful observer who watches facial expression and body language as closely as I listen to words. Sometimes there are not representational images to adequately depict my observations. It’s then I turn to abstraction. Abstract symbols and representation coexist in the altered state my paintings come from. The combination gives a more complete picture of the thought process.
In many ways the depictions represent the simple day-to-day environment of my life and those around me. Isolating the activity, pairing it with symbols, makes the everyday transcend into a more poignant moment. I like to take a good look into the eyes, to feel the emotion. When we contemplate another’s gaze, its almost like looking in a mirror to our own soul."
Laura Ross-Paul attended Oregon State University, Corvallis, received a B.F.A. in Painting from Fort Wright College, Spokane, Washington, a B.S. in Arts and an M.F.A. in Painting from Portland State University, Oregon. She has had solo exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, the Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Oregon State University and Colorado College and has been included in numerous group shows including the 1991 and 1997 Oregon Biennials. She is included in many public and private collections throughout the nation. Most recently she was included in Bonnie Bronson Fellows: 20 Years at Lewis & Clark College, November 2011