Symptom of the Universe
Jake Mensinger and Brooke Zamudio
Artists Jake Mensinger and Brooke Zamudio use a classic medium, oil paints, to explore contemporary issues of our digital age. Both artists take cues from art history: Mensinger explores western art history and religious iconography, where Zamudio investigates the Dutch Golden Age and Renaissance masters.
Artist Bio • Jake Mensinger
Jake Mensinger is an oil painter and muralist who received his BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design in 2012. He currently lives in Canton, Ohio.
Artist Statement • Jake Mensinger
We are the guinea pigs of the internet age. Humanity is shifting and adjusting to find its footing in an increasingly digital world.My work uses dreamlike scenes and icons to explore the pressures, emotions, and experiences of having dual citizenship in the cyber world and meatspace.Pulling from sources such as: western art history, religious iconography, pop culture, and social media platforms; the paintings combine the ancient and current. The combination of old and new illustrates not only the passing of time, but also questions the legitimacy and practicality of oil painting as an art form going forward. As more mainstays of life are called into question for their suitability in this new reality, our role as curators for the future has become increasingly apparent. Will we preserve and build upon the ideas and values that have allowed humanity to prosper, or perpetuate the demons that will ultimately lead to our demise?
Artist Bio • Brooke Zamudio
Born in California, Brooke Zamudio attended The Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Critical Theory in 2012. In 2017, Zamudio was named “One to Watch” by Saatchi Online Emerging Artist list. In 2018 she was awarded the Aminah Robinson Support Grant to attend a master painting residency at the Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado. Zamudio has exhibited for the John Glenn International Columbus Airport, Ohio Art League Spring and Fall Juried shows, as well as the Seattle Art Fair.
Artist Statement • Brooke Zamudio
My work fundamentally deals with the phenomenon of perception. I am fascinated by the intersection of perception, subjectivity, and shared reality. I often juxtapose the inorganic “living” with the organic “dead” to allude to the increasing digitalization of our lives, and how living today is often mediated through layers of technology.I employ old master techniques to create narrative realist oil paintings which utilize contemporary images to reflect on perennial questions of mortality, selfhood, and meaning. Ecological and digital themes pervade much of my recent work. I use digital icons as a contemporary symbol of temporality, much as Dutch painters used fruits and flowers to say momento mori (an artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death) and tempus fugit (a latin phrase that translates to “time flies”).My paintings represent a flattening and condensing of cultural influences and history, brought about by the internet, taking cues from classic works of the Dutch Golden Age and Renaissance.
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