Lina Tharsing: Interview

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Rachel Reese interviews painter Lina Tharsing about her new series of work Making a New Forest, which will be on view at {Poem 88} in Atlanta from September 7 to October 19, 2013.

Speaking about her recent work Tharsing comments: "The paintings in my most recent series are based on archived images from the American Museum of Natural History. The photographs that documented the creation of those dioramas are, of course, black and white. The first paintings I made were small watercolors of those images using an imagined color palette, but they never looked convincing. I decided to experiment with painting them as they appeared and became fascinated by the process of transcribing a black and white photograph into a black and white painting."

She continues: "Photography feels very 'real' to us still, despite our common knowledge of the existence of Photoshop and other image altering technologies. It has a rich, almost inescapable, history of documentation. Photographic images always seem to be telling the truth. Painting on the other hand, no matter how realistic, is always symbolic. We are intensely aware of the artist’s hand. Translating these archived images into paintings poses many more questions than the original photographs do. The interactions between the men in their lab coats and the animals take on new meaning."

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