Paul Kneale’s scanner paintings translate the tangible into the intangible, creating a digital language conveyed by these colourful, psychedelic layers that explore our relationship with the digital world. The artist’s process utilises cheap scanners that capture the manipulated light of his studio. Despite a laborious practice that involves repeated scans and prints and infusions in acetone solution, the result is a vibrant and refreshing impression of the environment. The final product features the raw, colourful inks of the printer blending into one another in lines and shapes of varying prominence that fade into the background, in a new technique that resembles a watercolour brushstroke.
Kneale’s artwork comments on the “new abject” responding to Julia Kristeva’s 1980 text ‘Power of Horror: An Essay on Abjection’, identifying a modern disorientation caused by our immaterial inhabitation of new technologies. The artist grew up alongside the evolution of the computer and saw the world becoming gradually more digitalised in the enigmatic dimension of the Internet. The artwork’s creation process is consequently a reverse of much of today’s art that is created digitally to comment on or imitate our environment; Kneale’s artworks are created by the environment directly, creating an image via a computer.
In this new series of scanner paintings, Kneale pushes boundaries one step further, engaging the notion of the abstract painted mark – the Pollockian virile brushstroke – as standing for the artist’s subjective existence in time. Indeed, Paul Kneale does not challenge its authorship, but rather the apparent sincerity of its psychic condition.