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Efrat Baler
Brooklyn, NY

ARTIST STATEMENT: Space: My next frontier. These are the stories of canvas paintings. The continuing mission: to explore the boundaries of the canvas in new ways, to seek out new ideas and new representations, to boldly go where a canvas has not gone before. I’m seeking ways to bring the painted canvas front and center, similar to the experiences offered by new technologies but in low tech and accessible way. I’m influenced by augmented and virtual reality, 360-degree videos and VR of artworks, holograms and the digital projection of ourselves on social media platforms. I want to mimic this state and breakout from the boundaries of the canvas and the wall. I’m exploring how a 2-dimensional painting can evolve into a 3-dimensional representation of its flat self. Mimicking how the artwork would look like if it could evolve into a concrete object or alternatively recede back into the 2-dimensional plane. Instead of observing a painting from one contemplative vantage point of view I’m allowing the viewer an inspection and exploration from different perspectives, revealing the innards and outer layers of the artwork beyond the boundaries of the wall. Narrating the story of the making and possible meanings behind the work. Taking advantage of the front and back of the artist’s canvas frame, I use the canvas itself as both a surface and an object by sculpting or extending the canvas cloth beyond the frame of the painting. I combine linear drawing and 3-dimensional objects on, beneath or behind the canvas melding them into the painting, and use texture, paints, strong contours and color to emphasize the painting and transitions into relief and onto objects. This creates a hypothetical artistic equivalent in reliefs and freestanding sculptural paintings. From the flat surface it can be or become: revealed illustrated transported incarnated materialized objectified a simile a reproduction a relief painting ​ Retaining the painterly characteristics of its former self to be experienced in our environment and in our space as a realized painting. I choose still life and art about art to portray these stories about paintings that materialize to a more realized form yet still retain their picturesque traits in the 3-dimensional world. The immediate subject matter and playfulness in my work is not the ends but the means to create the journey beyond the canvas for the viewer. These are the stories of where the artworks came from as paintings and what they could become if they leave the surface of the canvas and be realized into a 3-dimensional world as a virtual animation of their 2-dimensional painted form.

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