Slideways Shotgun Review in Art Practical’s 3.6 Alien vs. Venetians Issue

Invisible Canine (2011); Archival inkjet print; 48 x 40 in. Courtesy of Satellite 666.

Bold lines, audacious coloration, and hidden images characterize Fernando Orellana’s latest series, Slideways, currently on view at the Satellite 66 Gallery. From painting to electronics to robotics, Slideways showcases Orellana’s multifaceted art practice in a series of 2-D works that combine traditional techniques with digital tools. Orellana rejects the notion that ‘painting is dead,’ instead demonstrating that postmodern works can abide by longstanding traditions, albeit through nontraditional tools. Orellana has found a way to create something wonderfully enticing and fresh at the convergence of old and new technologies.

Orellana’s primary tools, a Wacom tablet and stream-of-consciousness method, allow him to produce prolifically. Orellana’s work, like neo-expressionist paintings, employs a wide array of color and bold, non-tentative line work. Because Orellana makes no preliminary sketches, his pieces emerge from his instinct in the moment and follow no particular order or guidance. The gesture of the work is steeped in the use of blind and modified contour drawing. Unlike the modern style, the work is filled with unmarked surfaces reserved purely for color rather than the textural quality and visible brushstrokes of Neo-Expressionism. In Invisible Canine (2011), the intense and laborious-appearing visual elements of line, shape, and form coalesce into a dense subject matter that not only make the canine visible but also a crucial part of the composition.

Slideways engages a dialogue between the perennial traditionalist and postmodern artist. Orellana’s work presents an unlikely intersection of technology-enabled production and organic notions of the creative process. Slideways reminds viewers that, technological tools and seamless lines notwithstanding, the artist, not the technology, created this body of work.

Slideways is on view at Satellite 666, in San Francisco, through December 31, 2011.

Originally posted to Shotgun Reviews on Art Practical, please click here to view.

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos is a writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research areas and interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, networked culture, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is currently the managing editor for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Public Art Dialogue. She has lectured and spoken at the De Young museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” has been published to The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture in 2016. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism, board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center, and teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Digital Art and New Media department.

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