In a film photography class this past fall, I began to experiment with realistic abstraction through digital manipulation of my images. I would duplicate, overlay, and combine images to the point where they were almost indistinguishable from realistic images at first glance. Over a winter break spent at home, I worked to translate this abstraction into painting. In years of painting, I have typically only studied exact realism. I struggled to intentionally stray from pure reference photos as I painted, yet I found it important to let myself fill in details and surfaces as I saw fit instead of exactly as they were presented in the image. By removing myself from the reference photo I forced myself into a sort of semi-realistic abstraction with realistic forms and proportions but invented colors and surfaces. For this work, I wanted to combine two images I had taken, one of a lofted view of the MoMA interior, and the other a shot of an outdoor dining setup with an intricate checkered floor. On my computer, I overlapped the two images with half opacity. I used this altered image as a reference photo as I began to paint. I enjoyed creating a new overlapping view of two spaces that functions beyond the limits of how the eye is typically able to interpret a space. By presenting these images in the same frame, I hope to collapse the different experiences of an interior and exterior space into a singular, flattened image.

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