Visual Feedback: Works by Todd McDonald
Exhibit dates: April 11 – May 9, 2015
About Todd McDonald
Todd McDonald earned his BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and then went on to receive an MFA in painting and drawing from Arizona State University. He has taught at a variety of universities and currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Painting at Clemson University. In conjunction with his work at Clemson, McDonald maintains an involved studio practice that is divided between two methods. One avenue exploits the surface, material and history of oil painting to describe the nuances and cues of post-digital abstraction. The other mode explores the use of the non-traditional material of duct tape as an image-making device. These images play on architecture, virtual space, and abstraction in roles that simultaneously celebrate and mock the character of our constructed environment.
Through abstractions of architectural structures my images explore the contemporary visual rhetoric where the virtual and material collide. Throughout history, painting has been used as a vehicle to describe spaces and locations that do not actually exist. Now we are confronted with new digital tools that are shaping the character of visual culture. In my work, digital methods and virtual space are confronted with the resistance and limitations of physical materials. The resulting images define structures that are synthetic but rooted in a logic that is informed by actual visual experience.
As methods of image making evolve, we are confronted with new visual qualities that affect the way we see and consequently create models of “our world.” Through digital technology, strategies such as tiling, cutting, pasting, layering, and filtering have come to define and shape the character of the images in our visual culture. When these new systems combine with the conventions of painting, potent and exciting opportunities arise to both deconstruct and expand this contemporary visual vernacular.