House of Mirrors

Artist’s studio, Porto

14.03.2021

“A house of mirrors or hall of mirrors is a traditional attraction at funfairs (carnivals) and amusement parks. The basic concept behind a house of mirrors is to be a maze-like puzzle. (…) Sometimes the mirrors may be distorted because of different curves, convex, or concave in the glass to give the participants unusual and confusing reflections of themselves, some humorous and others frightening.” Source: wikipedia.

Imperfection, human error and distortion have been my subjects of interest since my master’s diploma final exhibition: https://monikareut.com/exhibitions/about-distortion/

My paintings and drawings represent a structure made out of three dimensional grid. Ususally a grid is understood as a collection of horizontal and vertical lines intersecting each other at the right angle. The grids on my paintings, all based on freehand drawings, are far from that rigorous description.

I see the canvases of my paintings as projection screens that try to capture an image of an abstract, unidentified shape that is constantly in motion and that is waiting to be defined. The big canvases are set in a row but hang at different heights and have different sizes, which reminded me of a corridor of the mirror funpark attraction. Moreover, I discovered by accident that the wall length window and the glass division in my studio at night work as yet another reflecting surfaces, further copying and distorting the paintings.

We live in a screen culture, we don’t regard our reflections in the mirrors anymore that often, but we constantly watch each other on photographs and videos of our computers and mobile phone screens. And every such image we see, create and post on social media is edited, postproduced, augmented. Just like this photographic documentation of my exhibition.

The shades of yellow that are present in every painting derive from the last painting I painted still studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk: https://monikareut.com/2018-2/#&gid=1&pid=1

With each of the 9 paintings presented at “About Distortion” exhibition I was investigating different approaches to the subject I chose – the three dimensional distorted grid, representing our human error and imperfection contrasted with technology’s precision. The paintings varied from fully painted, almost realistic ones, through sketchlike, rapid, dripping with paint ones to the last one – whites and yellows on raw canvas.

I enjoyed the final outcome of the yellow painting and created several more works using that strategy. Those are the paintings I wanted to present on this little exhibition.

The sketches on paper leave a reminder that the exhibition space is a workplace, my atelier where work is in progress and ideas evolve.