Where We're At Podcast – No. 20
What does "art" look like? Nicholas Sistler, a Chicago-based artist, grapples with this eternal question in his work, creating pieces at once vibrant, intimate, and disturbing. Ninth Letter visited with Nick in early March of 2007, just as his show "In a Lonely Place" was opening at the Ispace Gallery in Chicago. Sistler's work for the exhibition — a series of tiny, perfectly detailed paintings influenced by classic film noir — conjured a menacing mood. The almost subliminal sense of unease aroused in the viewer by the artist's work is intentional. As Sistler describes it, "This viewer/object power struggle...exists between the viewer and my paintings, whether the viewer is consciously aware of it or not. The size relationship between the viewer’s body and the small scale of the painting allows the viewer physical dominance over the painting, while an unusual perspective contradicts this supremacy by persuading the viewer to be submissive to the image. The physical/psychological tension of this struggle is at the heart of what holds the viewer’s attention, calling into question the viewer’s power and their very physicality." Experience Sistler's powerful work for yourself — the artist will be exhibiting paintings at THE ARTISTS PROJECT (part of ARTOPOLIS) at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago from April 25-28, 2008.
Diana Jarvis and Megan Delaney
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