Morgan Blair

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Artist Statement

I’m interested in the playful relationship between highly personal, specific, and familiar elements of our world, and the surreal, absurd-to-the-point-of-being-abstract bastardizations of those elements that we generate and reflect back to ourselves through the internet. In studying that dynamic I cull imagery from sources on the internet where people have shared moments from their lives in the form of images that are half-obscured via their mode of expression. I collect stills from homemade craft tutorials on youtube with blurry close-ups of hands and project scraps that obfuscate the subject matter; Craigslist “free stuff” photos showing groups of unrelated items hastily arranged together, outside of the context of their usual habitat; and children’s claymations featuring crudely formed human figures and paper settings in rough approximations of real-life scenes. I’m drawn to these sorts of images for their common quality of having been several times removed from reality, both visually and conceptually.

In studying and manipulating these images, I am both pushing them further into and pulling them back from abstraction. I am always hoping to find something analagous to the feeling of staring into the abyss of the internet, where the total, all-encompassing and abstract absurdity of it washes over us. Where we have too much information, so much that it becomes meaningless, and questions arise such as “Is this real?” and, “Is this what I think it is?” Still, there are elements within the din that emerge, that represent morphed but recognizable aspects of reality.

In approaching this idea visually, I let the shapes and compositional elements within an image stretch and compress as I draw and redraw them from screenshot to Photoshop, to paper, to canvas. Masking off and filling the shapes with hard-edged airbrushed gradients, the spacial relationship between them becomes ambigious as some space flattens out and some deepens. Drop-shadows between shapes create an illusion of collaged, physical depth to the surface of the painting, but indicate a flatness, and a limited depth of field, light source and perspective within the world of the image. Clashing, saturated colors root the paintings in an alternate reality, a spin-off of the real world. And, run-on, stream-of-consciousness titles combine personal, political and pop culture references in the style of click-bait and spam titles.

born 1986, Worcester, MA
Queens, NY

2008 Rhode Island School of Design, BFA, Illustration

(upcoming, September) solo exhibition, The Hole, New York NY
(upcoming, September) group exhibition, Andrew Rafacz, Chicago, IL
(upcoming, September) group exhibition, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL
(upcoming) UnfamiliarAgain, Contemporary Women Abstractionists, Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans, LA
Small Enough to Keep Me Happy, Big Enough to Keep Me Occupied, Eighteen, Coppenhagen, Denmark
Along a River of Sapphire Pools, Mountain Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Optically Topical, Thierry Goldberg, New York, NY
Shampoo Effect, Mass Gallery, Austin, TX
Hunting For Punchlines, Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Post Analog Painting II, The Hole, New York, NY
Please Mr. Postman, curated by Won Eh, Essex Flowers mailbox, New York, NY
The Paperweight Show, Fisher Parrish, Brooklyn, NY
No Vacancy, curated by Alt/Esc, Squat Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Failed Evolution, Spring Break Art Fair, New York, NY
Ocotillo, Stella Elkins Gallery at Tyler School of Art, Pilladelphia, PA
The River, ROE Projects/Hionas Gallery, New York, NY
Deviants Are Often Sacri ced To Increase Group Solidarity, Emma Gellar Green, Brooklyn, NY BOSCO, ROE Projects, Brooklyn, NY
Never Far Away, LVL3, Chicago, IL
How High?, Left Field, San Luis Obispo, CA
Television, 99¢ Plus Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
AB FAB 3, ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA
30 Under 30ish, Victori + Mo, Brooklyn, NY
Got It For Cheap, Copenhagen, NYC, Oslo, Stockholm, Paris, LA
Geo-Necro, ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA
Slippery Slope, Left Field, San Luis Obispo, CA
Blood and Sand, Mountain, Brooklyn, NY
Thick As Paper Thin, Brilliant Champions, Brooklyn, NY Lorax Poems, Good Work Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Pattern:::Chaos, Cinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
NEWD Art Fair, Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Ducks LA, Minotaur Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Inaugural Group Show, Left Field, San Luis Obispo, CA
Ducks, Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Decade of Decadunce, Cinders Projects, New York, NY
(solo) Wildlife, Ace Hotel, NYC
Sammiches, Dynamo Arts Association, Vancouver, B.C.
Black Foliage, Nudashank, Baltimore, MD
Where My Cones At? 2, POVEvolving, Los Angeles, CA
Black Foliage, Chinatown Arcade, New York, NY
Subliminal Sunlight, Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York, NY
It Is As It Was, Good Press, Mono, Glasgow, Scotland
The Family Show, Good Press, Mono, Glasgow, Scotland
Museums Anthology, Islington Mill, Salford, Greater Manchester UK
Picture Plane, Nudashank, Baltimore, MD


SPRTS, Endless Editions, NYC
Cinders Gallery Artist of the Month Interviews Zine
Exotics, Chris Golden/USA
Packet Biweekly #016, USA
The Liner Magazine No.2, USA
Sammiches, Star Gods Press, Vancouver, BC
Happiness # 3, USA
Sundance Film Festival A to Z, Todd Oldham for Sundance, USA Museums Press Anthology, Museums Press, UK
The Open Daybook, Mark Batty Publisher, USA
Faesthetic #13, USA
Showpaper #71, USA
2009 3×3 Illustration Annual No.6, USA