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Zachary Skinner
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Bushwick

ARTIST STATEMENT: My work is heavily influenced by Green politics, the non-violence resistance and grass-roots movements from the 1950’s to the Present, and Eastern philosophy. One Zen mind-body experiment is useful for understanding my work. Two participants sit staring into one another’s eyes, and as one changes their facial expressions, the other follows suit. And so each is a reflection of the other, and each gains a deep realization of the self by looking at the other. Like that simple “game”, I see my artwork as a reflection of society, humanity, and identity, but meant to invoke questions about oneself within this culture. My focus has been on destruction within the context of contemporary American, capitalist, and political culture. Some forthcoming projects take interest in the politics of oil, and the waste of materialism, and recent projects confront the production and consumption of meat, the Occupy movement, and also reflect on the media, war and poverty. When I approach such topics, my studio acts as a laboratory for a deeper understanding of our destructive nature. I collect information by researching, taking photographs, recording sounds, and doing video-performance experiments. Finally, I get into a reflective state, an emptiness of mind, which allows me to lose myself into the process and multi-sensory experience. That is exactly what I want to leave intact in the final works; multi-sensory exploration, reflection, finding one’s own associations and meanings, and soul searching. The empathetic capabilities of an image with sound, and Affect, can be powerful tools for political change. I want to honor their potential for personal transformation.

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War and painting alike start with an idealism. Among other interconnected motives; a belief in finding resolution or an end, a faith of intention, a desire to conquer and assert one's voice, and perhaps a quest for immortality or destiny. But both can be grotesque failures, purely destructive, or heavily corrupt actions. I was tempted to explore grunting and violence paired with video processes that are destructive to the images, and abrasive shaky camera shots, as a corrupt painting process. The sound composition draws from an obscure Japanese-Buddhist instrument and song structure, which was used for meditation practice. To me, this work is a sort of theatrical "Western" meditation experience.


647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217


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