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Patrick Paine
Brooklyn, NY



ARTIST STATEMENT: My artwork is about the collective perpetual quest for inner and outer utopia. To articulate my ideas I make kinetic and geometric sculptures, conceptual drawings, functional pottery and the occasional piece of furniture. In the studio I begin with clay, architectural materials and CAD drawings to explore space relationships in buildings and their surroundings or an object and its viewer/user. This process begins with drawings and plans that continue to develop and expand into three dimensions. My work is about our collective sense of place and the contemplation of our surroundings, specifically dealing with urban architectural space and its relationship to utopian ideals. My current project has been influenced strongly by my surroundings in New York City and has led me to explore the worldwide increase in urban population density via the aesthetic of the urban environment and the impact of urban planning and design on city dwellers. While on residency at the Vermont Studio Center this summer, I began a series of drawings of city plans I deemed utopias. Inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and the politics of eminent domain in urban planning, the drawings depict fictitious plans for cities in pen and ink. Each city is drawn in an automatic fashion; where the universities, parks, neighborhoods and housing projects lie is left open to the viewer’s interpretation. Once the initial drawing is complete I edit these utopias from the perspectives of historical and contemporary developers by masking off and inking portions of the map to specify an area that is about to be changed according the mysterious interests of the city’s own bureaucracy. In this work I play the role of the omniscient creator as well as cultural critic to tell the story of a compromised utopia whose destiny is uncertain.
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