Todd McDonald

Through the language of abstraction my images explore the contemporary visual rhetoric where the virtual and material collide. Throughout history painting is used as a vehicle to describe spaces and locations that do not actually exist. Now, we are confronted with new digital tools that are shaping the character of visual culture. In my work, digital methods and virtual space are confronted with the resistance and limitations of physical materials. The resulting images define structures that are synthetic but are rooted in a logic that is informed by actual visual experience.
As methods of image making evolve we are confronted with new visual qualities that affect the way we see and consequently create models of “our world”. Through digital technology, strategies such as tiling, cutting, pasting, layering, and filtering have come to define and shape the character of the images in our visual culture. When these new systems combine with the conventions of painting, potent and exciting opportunities arise to both deconstruct and expand this contemporary visual vernacular.
Lately, my studio practice is divided between two methods. One avenue, exploits the surface, material and history of oil painting to describe the nuances and cues of post-digital abstraction. The other mode explores the use of the non-traditional material of duct tape as an image-making device. The physical character of duct tape as a manufactured, relatively low quality material can emphasize the constructed nature of our environments and images. These images play on architecture, virtual space and abstraction as they take the form of discrete images or installations that are applied directly to the wall.