Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Exposing the invisible world through art

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In an exclusive chat with The Pioneer, art virtuoso Lindsey Nobel, whose painting practice is rooted in principles of both abstract expressionism and minimalism, takes us through her artistic process and the influences of her art.

Tejal Sinha

Building her drawing language on the invisible connections that unite humans with the organic and inorganic phenomena that make up everyday life, Lindsey Nobel’s work manifests the immense grid of energy that now exists between human, machine, and spiritual consciousness. Through drawn, painted, photographed, and sculpted mark-making, she expresses this otherwise invisible language.

Her painting practice is rooted in principles of both abstract expressionism and minimalism and employs oil, acrylic, ink, resin, coffee, pen on canvas, masonite, and wood panels. Lindsey’s artistic process stems from investigating memory, dislocation, and environment.
Recently, the artist participated in an exhibition of Arushi Arts for kickstarting its 25th-year celebrations since its inception in New Delhi. We connected with the artist for an exclusive chat, who takes us through her artistic world.

Beginning with her strongest memory from her childhood that inspired her to get into the artistic world, she says, “My mother had a lot of different art books around the house that inspired me. I remember looking at Kandinsky’s work, and Paul Klee’s work in books she had. I was very drawn to their drawings and their imagery from a very young age and I think this definitely influenced my work to today, he also had some books on Jackson Pollock and that influenced me very much. I went into the garage and started trying with paint and trying to capture energy as he did. I think I’ve always been interested in energy and now an artist is the energy and creates art that represents energy”.

Leo Tolstoy, a Russian writer once said, “Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” Sharing how she refers to real-life situations to create art, she says, “The liquid line paintings started after I left New York in 2008 and moved to Los Angeles. These are about how we are always moving around the planet, and the liquid line-trapped landscapes represent this. 

Very much how Mondrian did broadway boogie-woogie and created a city into a street. Now energy and the Wi-Fi world of that connect us all.  With Google maps technology has taken over and helped us find our way and how we move around the planet with GPS Google maps finding things, has never been so easy we can’t get lost anymore every place had been mapped.”

For Lindsey, Scuba diving and technology have been two of the profound influences on her art. “There is this animal that is the second largest animal on the planet. No one talks about this colony creature called a Siphonophore. It’s hundreds of feet long it all works together. I guess I’d like how everyone is on the planet to be connected in a good way.

Another big influence is technology. Since I was a generation where we all started getting cell phones, graduating college in 1992 and moving to San Francisco this was the beginning of the web. We are humans always connecting, and this is where the drawing language started.”

We are humans always connecting, and this is where the drawing language started for Lindsey. Being in San Francisco, California in the 90s and having friends work at George Lucas, she was fascinated with how things were connecting and began drawing this first as a brain wave hat, and then they turned into more biomorphic drawings that look more like cells and grids and technology. Still looking at artists like Kandinsky color has energy.
“I started looking at Wi-Fi and cell phones and communication as energy. This was the beginning of San Francisco and the Infosphere that we live in today.”

Recently, she exhibited her artwork in Reality of Illusions, where she explored the digitalised connectedness that humans now seek or are sucked into unknowingly. As we were eager to know more about her artwork, she said, “The pieces I created for Reality of Illusions, came out during the pandemic.The gridded people series these paintings represented how people can Google search each other, connect with each other through Facebook, the Internet, and they were all kind of looking at the screens and these energies. So, I started with a grid, and then I put people on top of them.

They’re not really obvious people but if you look and see their figures that show how we can connect with people even though they’re not in our room we can do Zoom calls a pandemic change this for everyone online learning and more remote working and connecting.”

“I find the art scene similar to reality with Instagram and connecting. I feel very much like part of it.  Even if I’m not physically there, I can see more shows I can see more people online all over the world. I think for me, I have to stay grounded in a spiritual practice I know that I’m part of this. And not let my ego get ahead of me or behind me, because you never know when you’re gonna be in the front or in the back popular on not. 

It’s about making the work and keeping yourself grounded. I try to tell younger artists this because we all want to show in Basel or get those high prices, but it’s about creating your vision and sticking to it. I think the world has more love for art and creatives than ever before because there are more fairs and more opportunities,” signed off Lindsey, who is going to start making some new, larger bronze sculptures based on neurons and shadows, as well as a new body of paintings similar to the gridded people, but more about borders, and how people are connected with Wi-Fi and technology and erasing the borders through communication on the web and technology.

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