Interrupting the Interface Statement INTERRUPTING THE INTERFACE An Exhibition by David Wilson The language of our time is the image. The current culmination of our social media age is Instagram. No other medium has the visual acuity to present the world to the world one view at a time. With 500 million monthly users and 40 billion photographs and counting, the sheer volume and reach of this medium is making Instagram ubiquitous, societally and culturally. Foraging through the volume of information is a formidable challenge, one that Vancouver artist David Wilson has undertaken in preparing for this exhibition. One of Instagram's essential successes is the capability for anyone with a smartphone to take an image and enhance the ordinary to the extraordinary, by way of the “filter”. Most digital photographs have visual elements added via filters for the sake of appeal. Those that do not, come with the added hashtag #nofilter as a note of rarity and credibility. The minority of ordinary is now competing with the expectation of extraordinary. By definition to “filter” is to remove, block or separate specified elements from a subject, as a coffee filter removes the grains. However digital filters perform the opposite function: they add something new. Through his series, Wilson proposes that our reality is subverted and substituted via alteration; we insert, even impose, our ideals. We beckon a perception that flatters our self-image more than the photograph’s. Yet ironically, Instagram filters are named after their creators’ various experiences, not our own (Clarendon, Valencia, Reyes etc.). We appropriate others’ memories into our own and onto the viewers’. We peddle a faux-nostalgia, replacing the truth of the moment with an indiscriminately generated ideal. There are further levels of questionable cosmetics. Even before we stop to post an image we are applying our personal filters: our own life experience, our mood, our location and even the image we have chosen weigh in on our visual culling. In spite of the apparent spontaneity of posting and viewing in Instagram’s design, each posted image has undergone a selection. Scan through any profile and its own unique aesthetic shows its owner’s particularity, or more accurately, a constructed projection of their public persona. However conscious or intuitive the process is, the digital array of a life personified is one that is curated. Moreover, curated from only a narrow selection of seconds of that life. We too, have become filtered. In building this body of work, Wilson scanned thousands of photographs on Instagram and selected the images he felt compelled to work with. Then it was a matter of copying, pasting, further filtering for his own painting references. Most of the selected images identified with water or fluidity, a pervasive theme throughout Wilson’s work. Living in the Pacific Northwest, renowned for its unenviable yearly rainfall, one often develops an unavoidable and polarizing connection to water. Its overabundance informs much of what David Wilson creates. In spite of potential negative connotations, there is a universal appeal to rain soaked city streets that evokes something entirely visceral. So often this is found in the film industry, in the pains it takes to recreate that wet and rain-saturated aesthetic. Those slick streets reflect so much of ourselves back at us it is like peering into a distorted mirror. A mirror that reminds us of places we inhabit, both imaginary and real. Throughout Wilson’s work, water is identified explicitly in content and implicitly in form. The paintings become a chaotic kaleidoscope of light and colour infused with what we know and what we think we know, or remember. Although memory is elusive, Wilson approaches the process of his paintings as layers of memory, lying one over top of the other, eventually resembling something recognizable. Whether it is true or false matters less than speaking to a collective understanding, or recognition, of what is seen. Interrupting the Interface navigates through the real waters of our surroundings and the unreal waters of our representations to arrive at a reflection of both. PRESS RELEASE Event: Interrupting the Interface: New works by David Wilson Dates: Sept. 7th – 30th, 2017 Opening Reception: Thurs., Sept. 7 6-9pm. Artist in attendance. Venue: Kimoto Gallery, 1525 W. 6th Avenue, Vancouver Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 6 pm / Sunday & Monday by appointment Info: www.davidwilson.ca / www.kimotogallery.com Vancouver painter uses Instagram filters as inspiration Vancouver, BC, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2017 — David Wilson’s latest series of paintings demonstrates the subtle interface between reality and filtered reality. It’s an important distinction in the age of fake news and doctored images, but also a deeper comment on how the filters of memory or mood inform our everyday perceptions. Wilson’s lush, rainy urban street scenes evoke a counterintuitive-yet-comforting feeling of warmth and familiarity. Sodden figures, grey buildings, and damp roads reflect light, morphing and dissolving into drips and washes as they approach the edges of the canvas. Wilson’s deliberately loose painting style creates the sense of a framed, or filtered image, reminiscent of a memory viewed through the fog of time. Peering into Wilson’s world of dripping water and dissolving colour is like staring at reality through a wet pane of glass, or falling into a melting sidewalk painting. Wilson, best known for depicting Vancouver, has turned to Instagram – and to other cities -- in building this body of work. “I pulled thousands of wet street scenes from places like New York, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, and London. I was trying to connect that rainy Vancouver aesthetic with these other places, and to focus on commonalities rather than the iconic landmarks of each place.” That convergence of imagery is also found on Instagram – which curates diverse images from around the world, increasing our visual familiarity with other places and themes, while at the same time removing distinctions between regional styles of image-making. Another key aspect of Instagram Wilson explores with this series is the filter. Users of Instagram understand that within the context of the app, to “filter” an image means to add one of several pre-determined visual effects to it. Yet in the traditional sense, to filter something actually means to remove part of it – like when you filter coffee grounds. Wilson says he does “a little of each” when he works up an image. His process is both reductive and expansive, removing elements of realism by adding brushstrokes of paint. “I’m essentially re-interpreting. It’s my own perception – based on my life experience.” In examining the great wash of images available on Instagram – Wilson notes that the use of visual filters has become so ubiquitous that the rare image popping up without a filter tends to earn its own special #nofilter label. “The minority of ordinary is now competing with the expectation of extraordinary,” he says. Filtering reality, enhancing the truth, in Wilson’s mind, are things we all do, albeit unconsciously. “Our mood on a given day can change how we view our environment. That is a kind of filter too.” Though Wilson does not feel that truth has ever been anything but subjective, he concedes that in today’s political climate, “this question of what is truth and what is a lie matters to more and more people. But what I like about painting is there is a chance for me as an artist to create a bridge between the two – a recognized shared experience. Viewing a painting, we see something close to a truth – but maybe more suggestive of a shared feeling, or memory, that perhaps we can agree on.” About David Wilson David Wilson lives and works in Vancouver, BC, his home for nearly 25 years. His representational works of both rural and urban subjects invariably offer up his perceptions on the relationships between people, structures and the geography we both inhabit and interact with. Wilson studied at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design but is primarily a self-taught painter About Kimoto Gallery Katsumi and Jiali Kimoto have created a unique gallery space in Vancouver. Katsumi is an experienced artist, art curator and art dealer. He’s well known in Vancouver, particularly in South Granville’s Art Gallery Row. He previously served as Director of the Douglas Udell Gallery on West 6th Avenue and was the lead sales associate at the Ian Tan Gallery on Granville Street. He has curated and managed large corporate and private art collections. Jiali is a multi-faceted designer with more than a decade in the industry, and was most recently a lead designer with a major international brand. This husband and wife team offers both accessible artworks for first-time buyers and highly sought-after artworks by established and senior Canadian and international artists for seasoned collectors. They’re excited to showcase the artwork of many of their talented peers and artist friends to collectors in Vancouver and abroad.