One of the best things about spending summer in the city is having more time for leisurely studio visits with other artists. Recently I stopped by EJ Hauser’s spacious studio in Sunset Park to check out her new work. Hauser was the artist-in-residence last year at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she concentrated on portable media such as drawing, digital imagery and small paintings. Back in Brooklyn, many of the images and ideas she developed during the residency are now emerging on larger canvases.
systematic sequential fashion, turning drawings into digital prints,
enlarging the images into paintings, and using images of the paintings
to begin new prints and repeat the process, cannibalizing earlier
imagery as she goes. Her practice hinges on a robust dedication to
[Image above: A series of small paintings that began by gluing digital prints of her drawings onto the canvases.]
Hauser’s drawings often incorporate text, but she doesn’t like to rely too heavily on it in case some viewers can’t appreciate its significance. Using text then would create a language barrier that she wants to avoid. “If aliens see my paintings, they won’t understand what they’re about,” she told me, only half kidding.
Hauser isn’t a physicist and is quick to say that her knowledge of scientific theory is limited, but she’s interested in the unknown and believes that mysteries are still out there waiting to be uncovered. Post-modernists may think everything has been done before, but if art is like the rest of the universe, they’re wrong. What about mathematics she wonders–what would it mean if the principles of math as we know them didn’t apply in other parts of the universe, upping Einstein’s ante? She listens to lectures by philosopher and “psychonaut” Terence McKenna, who used psilocybin mushrooms to expand his consciousness, and she highly recommends watching Particle Fever, a new film about the the Hadron Collider and the discovery of the “God” particle. For Hauser, everything seems possible.
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