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Ilana Savdie’s Cyborg Glitch Paintings of Serenity

It’s Photoshop retouching turned up and boiled over.

Examining the cascade of technology that washes over our daily lives, artist Ilana Savdie embraces the digital to create her hybrid painting/print/illustration work. The deconstructed figures of water bottle chugging models and corporate boardroom meetings are transformed from commercial images. It’s a cyborg glitch between real life, online worlds and advertising.

In Savdie’s work, the human figure returns to its maker—but in this case, the maker is Photoshop. It’s retouching turned up and boiled over. In her paintings, the flurry of marks further breaks down her source images.

“My compositions begin when I pull subjects from the prolific ready-made images of the internet that serve as definitions in our visual culture. Recently, I began engaging with images of facials and facial masks that reign supreme in health and beauty culture,” she says.

With a nod to her background in marketing fashion and beauty products (Calvin Klein, Bib + Tuck), Savdie exposes the paradox of images in serene settings that often come across as melancholic when taken out of context. The spa-like images quickly become grotesque when the same digital tools that constructed them are used in a different way.

Savdie is currently an MFA candidate in Painting/Printmaking at Yale University. See more of her work at her online portfolio, built using Format.

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