• Rachel Sitkin

    is based in Philadelphia, PA.


    Artist Statement

    The theme of my work is the evolving relationship between humans and the landscape. It appears to me that we live in an era of shifting cultural consciousness regarding the place and power of humans in the world. This conceptual shift effects us spiritually, socially, and economically. Though I consider it from many angles, I find the visual manifestation of this relational evolution the most intriguing. Through my work, I aim to participate in a dialogue around the complicated issues of land use and to invite others to consider these issues as well.

    I generally render scenes of human geometry, industrial, agricultural or residential geometries, imposed on naturally occurring organic land formations. I consider these landscapes both as sites of commodified nature and as the beautiful archeological relics they will become. The pre-existing topography of the land dictates a three-dimensional direction to the architectural placement. The shapes left (by the suggested figure) in pursuit of resources and progress reveal an elegant geometry unique to our species. The resultant landscape is a meeting of the slow accumulation of matter over millennia, and the precise, efficient alterations at human hands. Though environmental impact is one of my concerns, I am more interested in the visual metaphor these scenes become for our simultaneous ownership over and dependence on the land. By accenting the beauty of the resultant landscapes, I hope that viewers will consider the broader picture.

    The paintings are constructed by referencing both the organic and geometric contained in the landscapes themselves. The paint-handling varies to mimic my conceptions of the organic as loose or rough, slowly built and heavily layered; the man-made as neat and tight, thin, clean and rigid. Within the space of the paintings our varied, and at times contradictory relationships to the land are revealed. The various textures and approaches to illusion and design allude to our multiple conceptions of our place in the world. Informed by air travel, virtual travel over the Internet, maps, modeling and real-world experience, our notion of the landscape is collapsed, our sense of scale altered. I think it both beautiful and bewildering to consider these sites as though they were models, easily controlled and toyed with.