Alexander Churchill | UNCANNY VALLEY
July 30 - September 18, 2016
Through my art I want to explore an underlying anxiety and uncertainty towards human interaction and the natural world. I am interested in how we process and react to interpersonal visual communication and how it can be applied to Art. The phenomenon where we recognize human characteristics and faces in random objects or imagery, known as pareidolia, plays a role in the concept of my work as well as the theory of the "uncanny valley" which demonstrates an apprehension and repulsion towards a slightly less than perfect human likeness. We are instinctually programmed to seek out human faces and then relate to them. The faces and figures in my paintings provide a target to grab the eye and form an empathy in the viewer. The intention of being thoughtfully painted provides a staying ability, (something that makes you want to look at it for a while) but then deceives with the use of themes, imagery, settings and colors that seem unsettling and frightful. I choose imagery that subversively incites feelings of vague uneasiness and intrigue that try to blur the lines between awe and dread. I also make an effort to subtly include themes of fundamental human concerns with the use of ambiguous symbolism, absurd imagery and abstract elements. The intention of this is to trigger an elemental and animalistic part of the viewer in a way that is suggestive to powerful controlling cues like survival, sexuality, violence, the sublime and abstract thought. All of this portrayed with the beauty and reverence of a delicately painted picture, means to create aconflict between attraction and aversion and a tension between empathy and mistrust thats reminds the viewer of a trepidation towards an infinitely complex and chaotic universe and the potential for madness in everyone.