December 23, 2015 - October 12, 2016
Philadelphia artist Anthony Vega is a painter whose work is influenced by the visual stimuli associated with our contemporary lifestyles -- TV, advertisements, print, and various forms of digital and social media. The plethora of information and imagery and its immediacy affects how we process and interpret our lives and our surroundings. It is especially true with the desire to digitally share nearly every experience. Whether it is of public or private relevance, there is a filtered, distant sense of reality that most of us willingly subscribe. Vega has said “this notion of contemporary ‘sharing’ in lieu of or in addition to ‘experiencing’ is fascinating, of which I both critique this tendency and gleefully participate.”
It is an unavoidable dilemma that Vega finds intriguing especially as it relates to the traditional medium of painting. Similar to today’s proliferation of information and visual stimuli, Vega’s paintings are an amalgam of images from combined sources that include his own digital photography and images found on the internet.
In his series of paintings entitled #aTourist, Vega uses the same strategy of collecting images – his own and others – which he considers to be quintessential representations of a specific location. Using a multitude of source material, he overlaps the imagery, changes the scale and color to re-create a painted expression of a particular site.
Vega is interested in replicating the inherent nature of contemporary visual media to fictionalize and distort reality in the same way that a painting, as seen here – a painting that has been digitized and enlarged – has been regenerated and reinvented. Hopefully, the image of Vega’s painting Proximity (Philadelphia), will be regenerated again and again as interested passengers share it digitally.