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Nelli Rojas-Cessa
Untitled, 2023
Acrylic and matte medium on canvas (25”x30”)

Technology’s effect on human minds and society is a prominent point of fascination for me. I often find myself craving the feeling of overstimulation through the use of the Internet, and I’m not sure why. It may be a form of relief or motivated by the fear of missing out, but I find overwhelming visuals and onslaughts of information captivating. It’s fun to be consumed by it. In the current landscape of the Internet, attention is money. Every source of content is vying for the user’s attention, as that is how social media, advertisements, and most entities on the Internet are structurally designed to function. It’s quintessential capitalism, with real human beings behind the layers of web development and light-emitting screens.

One of my goals to advance my artistic capabilities is to figure out how to translate an abstract idea into paint. This is probably the most difficult part of the process. As someone who does everything with my hands, from creating artwork to programming on my computer, I envisioned some faceless amalgamation of hands reaching out toward the viewer. I wanted to highlight that something such as the Internet, a network of devices, is made by humans, so I strayed away from technology-related imagery and tried to keep it subtle.

Another one of my goals is to simply work on a larger scale. It’s challenging in two ways: requiring more material to complete and the logistical issue of transport. I settled on combining two canvases as a compromise for both issues and to break out of the conventional rectangular canvas, which serves to make the composition more dynamic and atypical. By the time I finished the painting, I found that having to fill a larger space was much more exciting and satisfying. As for the painting process itself, I tend to go into an almost meditative state and quiet my inner monologue. I prefer working by layers, through the use of matte medium, as a way of working on the entire canvas at once and cyclically correcting color balance.

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