These days we hear a lot about the benefits of “staying in the moment” – from spiritual teachings that arise in Eastern religions to popular psychology gurus. However “staying the the moment” is especially difficult today with the abundance of gadgets which provide us non-stop music, videos, texting and chatting capabilities.
When the present moment transforms into boredom or frustration, there is even less incentive to stay there. In Rebecca Whipple‘s latest solo exhibit at Public Works in San Francisco, called OUTWITH MATTER, she challenges the notion that boredom is a state to be avoided. For Whipple’s artistic process, she pushes though the grueling moments of boredom to reach new creative heights. Whipple uses boredom as a catalyst to experience synesthesia, a state where the divide between color, language, time and math begins to loosen.
Whipple’s show consists of many portraits, a few large-scale paintings, various felt sculptural pieces and an animation. Photos of deceased relatives were used as source material. Whipple’s graphite portrait drawings are exquisitely drawn, relaying wistfulness and nostalgia.
Whipple’s large paintings display vibrant colors and intriguing imagery. Her piece, Paratroopers and Dog, features a plane, a dog and a line of masked-out paratroopers, all on a tarmac. The plane and dog are stationary, but twitching/spinning in anticipation. The paratroopers are in motion but it is unclear whether they are coming or going. Whipple’s use of color is brilliant – adding to the mystery, yet enhancing what we already know.
Rebecca Whipple, a San Francisco-based artist, is a 2006 MFA graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute.