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Timothy Gaewsky

May 2020

Timothy Gaewsky

The artworks created during Timothy Gaewsky's month-long Akron Soul Train residency represent an extension of his ongoing series of landscape paintings, aptly named Hybrid Landscapes. Rooted in sourcing visual elements from retro video games, these paintings serve as a contemplative exploration of nostalgia and the delicate nature of memory.

Intrigued by the tendency of memories, particularly those from childhood, to become idealized recollections of the past, Gaewsky initiates his artistic process by engaging with original Nintendo and Super Nintendo games. Through gameplay, he captures screenshots from different stages, utilizing Photoshop to manipulate and layer visual assets, such as cloud formations and mountain ranges, from various games. This amalgamation forms a template that is then transferred onto the painting surface, undergoing a transformative creative process at the easel.

The subsequent stages involve further alterations to the overall composition, revisions to the color palette, and experimentation with diverse painterly textures and techniques. While these hybrid landscapes serve as settings for Gaewsky's evolving narratives, some visual elements may evoke familiarity or recognize the original game source. However, it is crucial to note that the constructed landscapes never actually existed in the older video games, potentially evoking a sense of faulty memory or quasi-nostalgic experience for those who reminisce about playing games from that era.

A noteworthy facet of this series is its role in allowing Gaewsky to generate and develop his expansive imaginative world. Each painting serves as a point on a mythical map, contributing to the creation of a vast, personal realm. For the residency, Gaewsky specifically focused on exploring common settings found in role-playing games, such as dungeon and paradise realms. Half of the paintings produced during the residency represent sites within the dungeon realms on this imagined map, while the other half are situated throughout the paradise realm.

In addition to the residency works, the exhibition features supplemental paintings from the Hybrid Landscape series, providing context and showcasing the perceptible development of formal aesthetics and painterly techniques.

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