Christina Justiz’s first solo exhibition, “Cut a Tree, Start a Fire, Melt the Ice, Start a Flood,” opens Feb. 7 at the Paul Mellon Art Center in Wallingford. An opening reception is Friday, Feb. 10. and the show runs until March 3.
The art center describes her work better than I can:
Translating and transposing her love of life to great visual effect, Christina paints in an aura of calm intensity, as one who might be composing music. The results are remarkable constructions, which include figuration, as well as abstract patterns of fractal unity and complexity, that reflect her sensitivity to nature and science, as well as to the metaphysical/ archetypal aspects of our surroundings and existence. Her work is rich in all of life’s tangibles: color, shape, and texture. Christina simultaneously creates a mood and a message, which invokes the inherent need in all of us to believe in a greater force, scientific or metaphysical.
The exhib will feature works created during the past three years, “made cohesive by a palpable meditative quality that forms the groundwork for each of her pieces,” according to the art center’s publicity sheet.
Also on display will be the first part of Christina and partner Christopher Roush’s most recent collaboration “QR_SERIES,” in which they create digital, interactive versions of her artwork. Viewers will be able to participate with the work on their smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
Our collaboration is focused on exploring the opportunities that modern technology offers to augment a viewer’s ability to interact and engage with a work of art. What new experiences can be gained by moving art from the relatively restrictive, static state of the physical form, into the limitless potential of the digital realm?
Each of our pieces begins with a painting. By combining images taken of the physical work with mathematical algorithms which emulate Christina’s artistic decisions, a digital version of the work is created. Once it has been translated into a language the computer understands, it enables us to do things which are impossible with the physical piece. Elements of the work can be manipulated programatically, allowing us to add animation to the implied motion of the static painting; users can directly rearrange, resize, recolor, and otherwise change the painting on their iPad, smart phone, or laptop; they can click a single link to share the collaboration through their social networks. Unlike with traditional paintings, what they are sharing is not a representation of the work, but the work of art itself.
The Brooklyn artist was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008, where she concentrated in Religious Philosophy & Visual Arts. She was recently awarded “Best Emerging Artist” in Nashville’s largest art fair, Artclectic.