JJJJound, the scarcely worded, image based blog founded by Justin R. Saunders in 2006, is an internet treasure trove of the hip, off kilter and forgotten about. Unconventional beauties of all existences are juxtaposed in a clean digital format. This presentation of imagery is one that is informative while maintaining elegance and desirability. Presently, JJJJound has risen from the countless ranks, to be one of the answers to mindless online tedium for the inspiration seeking.
“JJJJound Correspondence”, showing through July 7 at HVW8 Art & Design Gallery is Saunders digital mood board aesthetic, reassessed for the gallery arena. What began as a series of emails with long time creative collaborator Claudio Marzano, evolved into commissioned works from junior commercial artists based in the Wushipu Oil Painting Village in Xiamen China. Entering HVW8, an enlarged email from Saunders to the proper parties in China inquires into the painting manufacturers capabilities, urgency of prompt delivery and acceptance of junior artisans as an economic impact to ultimate cost. The subsequent works measure in at 4’x6’, each a variation of design, complimentary sartorial options and the weird from the World Wide Web. What seems to be screen grabs from JJJJound posts is in fact the image collection via “correspondence” (if you will) between Marzano and Saunders. Framing the top half of each piece is an unmistakable email grid (with verbatim addresses and dates) that hovers over the pool of opaque white canvas. Below this grid, is the imagery shared between these two parties, placed harmoniously within the frame.
The transparency of vision and process is what makes “JJJJound Correspondence” so interesting. Scrolling through a blog or an email the aesthetically perfected balance of lines and typography is taken for granted. Rapid fire, relentless scrolling with few pauses for observation, the eye simply registers and continues on. The humanity visible within the oil paint replicas by a (competitive waged) skilled worker, forces the viewer to slow down and observe. Even these specialists well versed in the Old Masters’ dramatic technique, perform a shaky deed duplicating the perfected manifestation of technology. The concurrent (and slightly paradoxical) existence of each canvas and its digital inspiration is equally as fascinating. “JJJJound Correspondence,” address ways in which observation is conducted- how do you register familiar information when presented in differing ways? Ultimately, Mr. Saunders succeeds in an intelligent presentation that would be fundamentally impossible without the basis of its existence: the Internet.
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-Contributed by Bianca Guillen