Derek Mainella – White Wizard

Photo: Derek Mainella

I’m happy to announce the inaugural show at WHITE WIZARD my studio cum project space.

Derek Mainella NEW PPL 13.03.15 – 10.4.15

PV: Friday 13th March 6-9pm

Mainella’s paintings occupy the pervasive overlap between the digital and the physical. His primary visual research consists of blends and gestural marks made in Doodle Buddy ™, an iPhone app, and Photoshop, which are then painstakingly translated onto canvas. The canvas is finally cut or taped in a cathartic act that at once opens up the surface and completes the process.

Mainella’s paintings draw attention to the different ways in which the hand functions during phases of the works creation. The prod and swipe of the finger on the multi functional device shifts to the ingrained multi functionality of the hand holding a tool, in this case the brush or knife. In the app, tools no longer extend the hand, the hand gestures towards a pictogram on a screen, a ‘thin’ interface connected to the cloud. In On “Apps and Elementary Forms of Interfacial Life: Object, Image, Superimposition”, Benjamin Bratton discusses how this is already developing “beyond the alphanumeric machine of the keyboard and the semiotic machine of clickable icon” to fully gestural interfaces such as the Microsoft Kinect, where mediation “relies instead on the epiphlyogenetic wisdom of spatial-object navigation accumulated over millennia: waving, poking, dancing, stacking, peeling, throwing, etc.” Is there a place here for the paintbrush?

But Mainella’s works do not cast judgements on technology, rather they highlight the tension between on-going, technified re-invention it allows and the basic human desire for stability. The ubiquity of the digital blend, with it’s frictionless mixing of colours, sits alongside the assertive physicality of the sliced canvas and it’s frame. The marks maybe remind us of confused emoticons, perhaps expressing the slipperiness of full spectrum digital dominance, and the ‘distancing’ of effect from the prod/swipe of the cause.