DCKT Contemporary presents recent paintings by TIMOTHY TOMPKINS. The exhibition includes works from both his Reenactment series and Explosion series. The inspirations for TOMPKINS’s paintings stem from his engagement with the tropes and language of the medium’s history. TOMPKINS begins his process of digitally altering photographic imagery by breaking the images down to core colors and by effect blurring the contours. He then uses high-gloss commercial enamel to execute the paintings on aluminum panels.
The images from the Reenactment series are from photographs or screen grabs from various historical documentaries that TOMPKINS captured and manipulated via computer. TOMPKINS explores the connection between the history of painting as social and historical recorder and broadcast media as contemporary vehicle for the dissemination of history. Specifically, he is looking for and focusing on the location shots that are used to transport the viewer into the story. Although the reference images are from specific programs and meant to represent particular moments within the context of the documentary, TOMPKINS is attracted to their general ambiguity.
The images from the Explosion series are anonymous photos of firework explosions that TOMPKINS appropriated via a general Google Images search. Most are personal photos that people uploaded to the internet for public dissemination. His interest in firework explosions stem from the curious juxtaposition of their inherent violence and beauty. The explosions are reminiscent of broadcast images of bombings and communicate a voyeuristic comfort in witnessing manifestations of power and physics.
The paintings, when viewed from a distance, reflect both physically and metaphorically a relational narrative which, upon closer inspection, dissolves into form and color. This effect endeavors to mimic the layers of codes and semiotics of an image while simultaneously asking the viewer to participate in an expanded dialogue of contemplation and connotation of content. The artist communicates a sense of removal from the present and a conceptual representation of social, cultural and personal "memory.” The paintings play upon the idea of revealing the unseen and invoke the notion of a disjunctive relationship between observation, representation and interpretation.
TOMPKINS’s work is included in the collections of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation (Los Angeles, CA), the West Collection (Oaks, PA) and Harvard Business School (Cambridge, MA). Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Studio La Citta (Verona, Italy), Heather James Fine Art (Palm Desert, CA) and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Project (CA) as as well as inclusion group exhibitions at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (CA), the Brevard Art Museum (Melbourne, FL), the Laguna Art Museum, (Laguna Beach, CA) and the Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans, LA).