Vija Celmins

celmins_32668_2 vija-celmins-big-sea-2-1969-graphite-tate


Vija Celmins process of building layers of paint onto photographs compliments her attention to the psychological connotation of the process in relation to the imagery, of which she photographed herself. It’s interesting to view her realistic style while knowing her artistic practice must be influenced by her regular visits to New York when she moved to America from Latvia, typical of that movement as it was the first American movement to gain attention from Europe.

Celmins achieves a strong attention to detail in her paintings particularly in her monotone depictions of the ocean and the night sky. I really love these later works mainly because these subject matters are very appealing to me, and I would like to take these subject matters into my own practice to hopefully achieve the combination of serenity and mysterious qualities which could depict the baffling nature of humans and sardonically our apathy also.

Looking at this work somehow lead my thought to creating paintings with no point of reference or depth or field onto acetate or another material with translucent qualities, and layer scenes together as to relate to my multiple exposure photographs because I love the uncontrolled abstract consequence of those, and this would allow for a longer, more intimate process.


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