The Horton Gallery is pleased to present off_Key1, the New York solo debut of painter John Pomara. FEB 8 – MAR 10, 2013
John Pomara’s paintings explore the idiosyncrasies of the Internet age: increasingly impersonal communication, the inseparable bond between our lives and technologies, and the anxiety we feel when the virtual infrastructure fails us. In his works, Pomara unpacks speed in the digital era, from the instantaneous connection of email to the halting slowness of buffering videos, uncooperative downloads, and virus-laden technology.
Pomara is interested in the human element of technology. His spare, abstract paintings depict blurs, glitches, and printing imperfections, contradicting our vision of modern technology as seamless, cold, and rational. Inspired by entropy and mechanical failure, Pomara uses copy machines, printers, and the Internet to create visual representations of error. Dragging an image across a moving photocopier, he creates a blurred “glitch” that may be incorporated into a mature painting. When arranged serially, the works recall film stills and their attendant implications of moving and inert images, as well as the motion studies of Eadward Muybridge.
Pomara’s materials and process manifest our increasingly mechanized reality. At first glance, it is easy to imagine these sleek works were created by machine. He is interested in the changing nature of touch, and in these paintings, the artist’s hand is nearly invisible. Pomara uses specialized methods to drag and spread his high-grade resins and paints on aluminum panels. His process evokes the assembly line and Pop screen-printing. The end results are glossy, reflective surfaces that resemble screens more than paintings. Standing before Pomara’s paintings, we see our reflections, but not quite. They suggest the ultimate “ghosts in the machine,” the true progenitors of error – ourselves. Pomara’s paintings beautifully display the flawed and idiosyncratic nature of humanity, irrepressibly expressed even in technology, our most “perfect,” uniform creation.