IRENE MAMIYE BIOGRAPHY
Born in Marseille, France.
2014 – MFA, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
2010 – BA, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, New York, NY
2002 – International Center of Photography, New York, NY
1998 – Parsons School of Design, New York, NY.
2020 – MASS MOCA Artist Residency, North Adams, MA
2019 – Penumbra Workspace Program, New York, NY, & Transart Winter Academy, New York, NY
2018 – Morphos Digital Dome Artist in Residence, Denver Arts, Fort Collins, CO, & Harvestworks Independent Study, New York, NY
SOLO and GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
From 2001 to 2020: In the US: New York, NY – Boston, MA – Naples, FL – Philadelphia, PA – Westport, CT – Miami Beach, FL – Houston, TX – Baton Rouge, LA – Charleston, WV – Portland, OR – Winter Park, FL. Internationally: Shangai, China – Brussels, Belgium – Beijing, China.
CBS Television – Calvin Klein, NY – Cassa Hotels/MMC Design Group, NY – Consolidated Design Group, NY, Federated Department Stores, NY – F-Factor, NY – Gallatin School of Study, NYU, NY – National September 11 Memorial & Museum, NY – SaraMax Apparel Group, NY – Sephardic Community Center, NY – Sumitomo Corporation of America, TX – Thor Equity, NY – Wynn Hotels, Macau/Hong Kong – Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China.
“Digital screens have taken over our time, attention and the way we perceive reality. We continue to depend on photography as the medium to record a truth at the very moment when fidelity to any prior reality has never been more questionable. Virtual tours sell real estate and hotel rooms; Ebay, Amazon and Google are photo-based outlets to sell products. Social media have promoted a paradoxical ideal of instant transparency and of experimentation for self/expression. Alone at the screen we seek connection, yet we are aware of software that can seamlessly distort the images we capture. And with every scroll our eyesight expands its dominion over our other senses of touch, taste, hearing and smell.
The expansion of this intermedia zone has given tremendous urgency to the investigation of two and three-dimensional relations and, in art, the relation between eye, hand, mind and object. I consider myself among a new generation of artists probing these relations.
I pursue a variety of strategies using digital software to appropriate and alter images from an array of different sources, including Instagram posts and widely trafficked renderings of iconic works of art. To highlight the process of continuous translation and transformation across platforms, I focus on abstraction, employing software programs designed to create imagery to transform Instagram posts into elaborate and visually complex nonrepresentational “canvases.” The images I produce carry many associations with high modernist art, including a variety of approaches associated with geometric abstraction. The results deliberately contradict not only the realist character of much of the source imagery but also the idea of indexical transparency supporting Instagram and similar platforms.
In a recent series, for example, I have investigated the character of Ellsworth Kelly’s minimalism as it is represented in digital space by subjecting Instagram posts of his work to mathematically based tools. The result is a new set of “Kellys” that comment on the ambitions of his and other minimalist works, paying homage to their precision and exploring their aesthetic attraction. In a sense, I recover these icons from their ungrounded state as digital phantoms, where they are unstable, existing in wildly various resolutions, sizes and hues.
These are new works that begin where the paintings leave off — in every way. I know that they are only fixed in a physical output, which is another decision I make, and that in digital space they are subject to the same or other degradations and manipulations. Needless to say, my approach also raises issues of ethics and fair use, at a time when appropriation is ripe for re-interpretation. Likewise, my work is a Duchampean idea of the readymade in the constant free flow of images.
In my work, I seek to illuminate the changing relationship between process and output. The tsunami of digital image generation and the spread of photographic interchange (which has created an environment of sourceless visual material) have conspired to banish the body from production and aesthetic engagement. My work reveals a more complex situation. While other artists such as Daniel Gordon and Yamini Nayar refer to a stage of sculpture or physical collage in their photographic productions, I use digital programs as if they were physical tools. Distorting, assembling, layering, feathering, scaling and changing opacity are my paintbrushes and the found imagery is my paint. This process deliberately reintroduces familiar strategies of chance, subconscious response and even physical gesture that the computer is conventionally supposed to have banished. Likewise, the resulting outputs (pigment print on canvas, diasec, paper and even glass) explore experiences of surface pioneered by modern artists and flattened to nothingness in a digital age.”