Now Featuring Anne Vieux
Anne Vieux makes work that conflates notions of the handmade and the digital, using hands-on processes of manipulation to create photographic effects, and then filtering those photographs back into the media of books and painting.Even though the images are still, they’re bright and dizzying with the implication of possible movement.
MH: Your work appears to be both photo realistic and abstract, like you’re creating and capturing light-based phenomena. What’s your image-sourcing process like? It looks like there’s a digital or photo-based step in there somewhere.
AV: Totally. The first stage in making my works comes from capturing or directing light, bending and scanning reflective papers over the scanner. Moire patterns and the refraction of the material causes these intense color relationships. I end up manipulating these images a lot digitally and physically. Peaks and valleys are created, but in the end the imagery flattens and reads painterly.
I like keeping the rigid qualities of the photographic image, while also transforming it to read as abstract. It has this kind of affected quality. My process is this kind of closed circuit between the physical and the digital, constantly informing each each other.
MH: How does making books fit into your process? It looks like it gives you the opportunity to work in series, for one thing.
AV: At first, working in the format of the book was weird, but the more I experimented with the idea, the more it made sense. With books it’s a challenge to translate this expansive atmospheric imagery in a hand-held medium. I think it’s interesting to get the work off the screen and onto materials, and slow down the speed of the work. Both working in a series and the idea of viewing two images simultaneously kind of came from my experience making books. Each medium requires a certain type of attention, and working with books allows me a slower development of content that informs the rest of my work.
MH: The lenses in your sculptures and distortions within other work look like a way of revealing time and change within a still image. How do these things work for you?
AV: It’s kind of about ways of seeing. Framing and duplicating imagery that is often peripheral and atmospheric creates a particular kind of rhythm and space. I like the idea of painting existing in virtual terms, losing and gaining information through compression, existing in infinite repetition, etc.
Yeah, I like that idea, implying time in a still image.
MH: How does sculpture fit into your studio practice?
AV: The sculptures sometimes use imagery and are like 3D paintings to me, and sometimes they simply frame and distort the space around them. Each medium has a particular relationship to the body and architectural space.
MH: How do you select your palette? I catch references to light effects from oil or prisms, the hypercolor of pop culture from the late ’80s-early ’90s, and CMYK digital print processes.
AV: I’m not sure about references— I’m more interested pushing color relationships that don’t exist naturally, or only exist in light. I guess i’m really into the contrast between maximal hyper coloration vs geometries. Using light to create an images that don’t exist in the real world on materials that have a bodily sensuality, gives these removed forms this kind of kitschy materiality. I like kind of playing around with the cultural aesthetics of altered perception and pairing it down.
My parents started a weather modeling company out of our living room in the ’90s. I think seeing the pixelated weather imagery, screensaver, and growing up on early computers affected me, maybe cartoons from that time too. In the same room, we had a small mineral collection; the relationship between the physical and digital has always come natural for me. I am a maximalist most of the time. Some aspects of my work are intuitive and some come from this structured thinking. When I’m in the studio and all of these things melt into a pool, something interesting comes out of it.
MH: What kinds of projects do you have coming up?
AV: I am moving into a new studio for them summer, so I excited to just get lost in there. I hope to continue the body of work I’ve been doing, creating another book work this fall, make videos and play around with some new sculpture ideas.