Drawing in Balance
What does it mean to be living in the digital world? Life is moving at a faster pace today than at any other time in recorded history. With so much information at our fingertips, we choose what we want to encounter and delete what we don’t. Therefore, we compose our personalities through what we selectively see, hear, absorb, etc. It follows, then, that our identities develop out of an exaggerated conceit in which everything happens (and is restricted from happening) at once. In some ways, we lose our authentic selves in the process of constructing and believing our own mythologies. From this assessment emerges a new threat that asks, “Are we better off with the tools of technology?”
Using pattern as a metaphor, my work explores cultural, social, and personal identity in the digital age. Initially, I appropriate image patterns from a variety of sources then reduce them via technology to a simple line drawing. Next, I overlay several images in order to disrupt their individual patterns and suggest one all-embracing design. I use ancient and contemporary archetypes as a starting point in much of this work. While the prehistoric spiral continues to inspire and ground me in the natural/spiritual world, when juxtaposed against the digitized shapes from contemporary patterns, it reveals a not-yet-familiar world. Similarly, as a painter, I value the primacy of color in my work. Because pigment suggests an inner energy, enhances ties to identity, and strengthens cultural bonds, I manipulate the combined effect of line and color into a cultural mythology in which everything happens at once.
About the artist:
Mr. Patrick Schmidt is an Associate Professor of Art at Washington & Jefferson College. He currently teaches painting, drawing, 2-d & 3-d design, and Graphic Design. Mr. Schmidt earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Central Michigan University. His exhibition record is extensive, including solo and group shows in Kansas City, St. Paul, Tallahassee, Santa Monica, Washington DC, and New York City. Mr. Schmidt’s paintings have been featured in the juried periodical New American Paintings and New Art International. His paintings are in several corporate and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. He lives in the South Hills with his wife and two dogs. He enjoys playing the cello, listens to “New Music,” loves to cook, and practices yoga regularly.