In this series, Staniak reflects on his painting studies created while on residency at the Long Studio in Joe Batt’s Arm. There he experimented with new materials bound by the limits of isolation and also employed elements of the natural environment into his textures. As a result, the completely new series of IMG Fibre Paintings employ similar strategies of experimentation. The paintings could be considered not “works on paper” but his first “works with paper”, where paper fibres are the core element of his undulating and complex substrates. The digital, tromp l’oeil aesthetic of his well-known “casting compound paintings” are ever present in this series, all-the-while utilising materials found in nature to create his materials. This incorporation of nature in his studio developments has been a key component of his recent work after the Fogo Island residency.
This series of IMG Fibre Paintings evokes the essence of the Newfoundland landscape, as observed from drone footage Staniak has taken on Fogo Island. This view of the landscape can be observed in his terrain-like painted textures. Though seen through a lens unlike that of the natural eye, these highly mediated representations resemble the rock, ice and flora that characterises the almost “other-worldly” contours of the island and Newfoundland in general. These similar rock forms are also present in the series of OBJ_ bronze sculptures on display amongst the IMG Fibre Paintings. The forms present in these sculptures originate from online databases of 3D digital scans of cave walls. This not only eludes to the origins of painting and the social or shared cultural image, a subject core to Staniak’s research, but also continue his fascination with our natural environment through his uniquely “digital” aesthetic.
About the artist: Michael Staniak lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. Recent exhibitions include: FEBRUARY 2019 / KITZBUHEL, Galerie Clemens Gunzer, Kitzbuhel, Austria; TRUE NATURE, Achenbach Hagemeier, Dusseldorf, GE; Double Vision, Steve Turner, Los Angeles, US; Fictions #2, Eduardo Secci Contemporary, Florence, IT; Vis-à-vis, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, HK; Looking For U, Unit London, London, UK; GUIDANCE, STATION, Melbourne; _IMG, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, US; Blue Times, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; and Permanent Display, Annarumma Gallery, Naples, IT.