Inside the Painting Place with Christina Mesiti

16 Feb

Landscape painting has the important responsibility to critically address how people relate to their surroundings. I aim to manipulate the landscape painting genre into a tool to understand place, space and our position within them. The paintings attempt to move past traditional representations of landscape into explorations of place. While landscape is the view seen by an outside observer onto a scene, place is what we dwell in as active participants and humans in the world. This body of work represents my ongoing search to make place paintings—works that both come from the experience of being in place and recognize a painting as its own place in which to dwell.

These pieces represent the progression of my exploration into how we structure or place and space both within a painting using artistic conventions such as perspective and overlapping shapes and in the physical world through subjective experience, intellect and emotions. They start with drawings made on a bus, drawings that stem from moving through and with a place. They reference both the bumpiness of the bus and the visual information quickly shifting outside the window. I then take the drawings into the studio and use paint to create the place from memory. Thus, the paintings are of a specific place, but not about it. Rather they present place as the individual process of gathering experiences and information into our own comprehensible world. The network of lines vaguely references a yet to be deciphered environment, a place for the artist and viewer to explore, unexamined information for the viewer to gather into his or her own place inside the painting.


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