My recent paintings investigate the signifying function of simulacra and highlight the role that this plays in the dissemination and sustainment of culture.
An understanding of the supremacy of the image over the real can be gained by looking at the writings of Jean Baudrillard. For him reality has been radically impacted by the shift that has taken place from one order of simulation, that of the simulation of the real, to a second order of simulation, “the generation by model of a real without origin or reality”. This new reality, this hyperreal has caused another shift: the shift toward culture-as-surface.
As lived culture become ever more dependent/enmeshed in surface, due to the nature of the hyperreal, and as the surface elements of recorded past culture become ever easier to access, due to the ensuing abundance of image material, the culture of selective tradition, which is the continual (re)selection and (re)interpretation of ancestors, becomes more engaged with the codes pertaining to the image. These codes make up the language of figuration and are essential for the reading of any image. They are themselves the product of cumulated historical culture.