SHAPE SHIFTING: Context is Everything - Playing with Scale in Virtual Galleries

I am not a diligent Instagram user, though in an effort to create new content during a time when I am not making new paintings, I looked around at apps for previewing wall art. I found Photofunia to be easy and fun to try some of the various gallery views available to upload images of my own paintings into and scale up my small to medium size work. The gallery walls have a feeling of The Metrpolitan Museum so my imagination was immediately captured. I posted twelve of these virtual gallery views on Instagram. Here is a sample of that…

RED CHAIR, 2018 - original is 5 x 8 inches, acrylic and collage on wood.

RED CHAIR, 2018 - original is 5 x 8 inches, acrylic and collage on wood.

INFLUENCES, 2019 - original is 8 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on wood

INFLUENCES, 2019 - original is 8 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on wood

EXPRESSIVE MOMENT, 2018 - original is acrylic and collage on wood

EXPRESSIVE MOMENT, 2018 - original is acrylic and collage on wood

I looked at some of the other apps that tend to give generic room options, but returned to a virtual gallery wall that I created a few years ago from a photo of a vintage sofa that was in the community space of the loft building where I reside. The sofa was a conversation piece that some loved and others did not. It eventually was seen covered with rain and ice by the dumpster, but my virtual Gold Couch Gallery remains…

RE-ENCHANTMENT, 2017 - original is 21 x 21 inches, acrylic and textiles on pizza box

RE-ENCHANTMENT, 2017 - original is 21 x 21 inches, acrylic and textiles on pizza box

FALLING TOGETHER, 2018 - original is 12 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on canvas

FALLING TOGETHER, 2018 - original is 12 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on canvas

ARRANGEMENT, 2018  -  original is acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 inches

ARRANGEMENT, 2018 - original is acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 inches

Part of making art is arranging and shifting of perceptions. Making is one thing—then looking at the finished thing is another. Hang the painting on the wall—stand far away—stand close up. Take a photo. Crop it to the edge or leave some wall showing behind. Look at just one corner. See patterns and connections moves us forward in life and art.

The virtual gallery is way of extending this kind of play. Seeing my creations in a new light is energizingand makes me want to paint new ones.

There was a wonderful coffee table book from the 1980s that features a red couch photographed all over the country. I love the idea of putting the same thing in a different context. Then there was the movie Amelie—she had her own game of photographing a garden gnome all over the place. I am fascinated by looking at old photos and seeing a familiar object. Just today I looked at a twenty year old photo of myself taken by a friend in Denver. We each moved to different cities and he died a few years ago, but I noticed in the corner of the room a stool that he gave me when he moved. I see that very stool now in my studio as I write this.

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See more virtual galleries…

patpendleton@instagram