As We Wander, We Are Closer
Ian Kimmerly (BFA 2002)
My paintings incorporate various images and pictorial modes to explore evolving notions of memory, personal experience and self in the digital age. Works are inspired by disparate elements and combine a variety of found and personal photos, video stills and other references. These elements are incorporated into open color fields and atmospheres that speak to the temporal and ephemeral qualities of mediating technologies, particularly social media and digital innovations. My research is primarily concerned with how these technologies have so quickly affected the ways in which we remember, relate to each other, and understand as well as define our world. I find painting an ideal format for exploring the tension between nonobjective and illusionary space, the gap between abstraction and figurative realms. In my work, gestural, wavelike painted passages often submerge a variety of images. Concealed images include objects cast as reflections in windows, distorted stills from old family VHS tapes and artificial elements such as mannequins and store displays. These images present a secondhand or mediated relationship to actual experience that calls into question how we define the real while investigating what binds us together.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.