Scene Canvassing: Padrick Bentley

Radio static of the ocular artisan sort hit my radar recently, not sure how said glitch made its way to this particular cove of the matrix, but, so it is and here we are.

That said, Padrick Bentley, LA-based visual artist, his work piqued a visceral frequency … something a bit methodical-madness-for-the-sake-of-making-it-out-of-this-*gestures broadly at manufactured chaos of modern media culture*-space-alive about the immediate aesthetic … resonated within a capacity, I suppose.

Thus said, for the sake of audience reciprocity in motion toward a more cognizant society, a bit of a reflection, rumination, and riff on the au courant creative’s work and worldview … a glimpse and gaze into said artist’s cultural coda re-acquaintance …

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Craft is in the mind of the maestro. Critique is in the method of creative expression. Padrick uses creative process to establish dialectic points of reference in reconstructing our modern world of media representation.


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Padrick works dually in oils and .GIFs, utilizing a process-oriented approach to address themes of consumerism and homogenization. His objective is to deconstruct established views, taking a critical look at the determination and manipulation of identity, questioning how we’re influenced by the inherent absurdity of the system.”



We’re far adrift from any semblance of authenticity


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“The process involves either creating art or manipulating an image, then taking the image file and categorically corrupting – deconstructing/destroying/damaging – more lines of code in a series of progressively altered versions of the original image. When that’s tied back together in a .GIF it creates an unrelenting cycle. The process gives the work it’s meaning, so why I say a process oriented approach.


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These images, and their subsequent systematic degradation, reduce the whole into a deconstructed semblance of fragmented parts. The manufacture of technological disruption mirrors the decontextualizing nature of an increasingly artificial worldview as projected and perpetuated by the overarching system of which Padrick speaks.


There is a both primal and modern element to deconstructing an image through the manipulation of the code. It’s then tied back together in an animated .GIF. With small delays, the work can be jarring and it can be difficult to discern individual images, allowing it to be subliminally absorbed, mimicking our daily intake of information.


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The work of an artist, the realm of the audience, is a terrain of struggle. The self in modern society is in constant flux, ricocheting between pillars of ambivalent identities. The core of Bentley’s work is the process, the development, and dissolve, of whole pieces immediately run through the gamut.


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The artist’s critical lens is necessary when capturing this choreography, if only to create a gateway from the glitch en route to some sense of sovereign identity beyond the system. Bentley’s work dives into the dissonant space of a rapid-fire modern mass culture, and within that exploration, finds a balance within the splintered dynamic.


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The alchemy in technicolor gold oil paintings, juxtaposed with hyperreal news montage GIFs, illustrates the underlying symmetry and symphony of universal design. The propaganda blurring lines between reality and manufactured representation, despite mass culture’s apparent delinquency, requires the active engagement of creatives to break through the code … to incite the viewer to sift through the static, to shift the audience’s gaze away from spectacle, to return their allegiant attention back to the source: a genuine sense of self and agency within this shared environment.


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