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Nicola Lopez

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The landscape that we live in has become saturated with signs of the easy mobility, speed, constant communication, imposition of structure, insistence on growth and glorification of technology that have come to be so characteristic of our society today. My work incorporates these signs, exaggerating and reconfiguring them in order to build maps that convey the sense of wonder and vertigo that is inevitable as we face the landscape of today’s world. I draw on the visual language of cartography in order to evoke the idea of mapping, although my maps do not refer to actual places. Neither are they depictions of utopias or dystopias; they are maps that represent how our actual world is structured, not on a literally geographical, but on an experiential level.
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The physical process of building each piece reflects the evolution that urban landscape undergoes. In the accretion of imagery and physical material, a history and structure are built in my work that reflect the layers of architecture, history, technology and topography that make up the world depicted. I use the language of print making to address the processes of automation and mass production that have
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brought today’s world into existence. The specific media of intaglio, woodblock and drawing that I choose to work with, however, are still closely linked to the artist’s hand and allow the work to be about my own attempt as an individual to come up with a system of navigating this overwhelming landscape instead of simply consuming one of the pre-fabricated, mass-produced and –marketed versions, of which there are so many. As with the evolution of the human-built landscape, there are moments in the construction of my world where the building proceeds according to plans that have already been laid and there are moments when the building precedes its own planning, expanding unpredictably and organically towards an order of a very different sort. Our world is full of the tension between just this order and disorder and my work focuses on that tension, creating images of landscapes that struggle against themselves, that strive towards order and beauty as they verge on the edge of spinning beyond control or comprehension. The maps and images that I create do not propose a clearly navigable territory or a clear destination, but ask the question of where we really are and where we might be going.
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IMAGE DESCRIPTION 1. - Critical Mass ( frontal view ) 2004 ; mixed media ; 10 x 14 ft, enclosed space 12 x 8 x 14 ft. - 2. - Critical Mass, 2004, detail. - 3. - Disorient, 2003 ; mixed media on paper ; 54.5 x 40 in. - 4. - Critical Mass ( opposite wall ) 2004 ; mixed media ; wall dimensions 8 x 14 ft. - 5. - Medium Vertigo.2003 ; mixed media on paper ; 22.5 x 22.25 in. - 6. - Small Vertigo 1, 2003 : mixed media on paper ; 18 x 17 in.
Nicola Lopez
New York, NY
New York
North America

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