Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Amy Bennett’s Diorama-like Paintings

Brooklyn based artist Amy Bennett uses an interesting technique for her paintings. First she builds miniature sets and then uses them as reference for her remarkable paintings, producing an equivalent to tilt-shift photographs. Amy Bennett likes to tell stories through her models and paintings.

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The paintings are glimpses of a scene or fragments of a narrative. Similar to a memory, they are fictional constructions of significant moments. I am interested in storytelling over time through repeated depictions of the same house or car or person, seasonal changes, and shifting vantage points. Like the disturbing difficulty of trying to put rolls of film in order several years after the pictures have been taken, I hope the collective images suggest a known past that is just beyond reach. One of my challenges is to invite the viewer to form his or her own connection and narrative so that he may empathize with the occupants’ seemingly mundane existence.

For my previous project I constructed a fictional model neighborhood. I considered who lived in each home, their family dramas, and the way their private lives might spill into view of their neighbors. The model became a stage on which to develop the psychological implications of belonging to a particular family, with all of its dramas, struggles and familiar routines. As I transitioned my model into winter, snowbanks of increasing depth seemed to fortify a sense of isolation and quietness.

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