Authenticity of the image has been an underlining question to postmodern art. Either from being absolutely common place or having a déjà vu quality, the notion of having experienced the image before – that the work of art is not the source but only a context through which to present the image – defines a large portion of contemporary art. The online search engine, Google, Daniel Bohman admits, is where he sourced the images in his paintings for the current exhibit, “Collect & Transform”, at the 100 Pearl Street Gallery in Hartford, Connecticut. Where anyone can enter a keyword, click and have the image delivered instantaneously, is the place Bohman is integrating; a virtual-scape that questions how images are accessed and presented.
Bohman isn’t just launching media savvy irony at viewers. His paintings contain allusions that range from Classical marble sculpture to Bauhaus drafting diagrams to Expressionist color saturations. “Patchwork,” (above) not only alludes to taste in modernist wall paper patterns and furniture, but takes the effect of the pattern and extends that not only into design but virtual reality, the ceiling lattice being only drafting outlines disappear toward the edges of surface. The eerie dissipation of the object from solidity to outline to nothing is found again in the chairs around the table. Where they should be, they seem like phantom chairs not only in the sense of just being outlined but being incongruous in their sophisticated Victorian and rugged craftsmen mix of style. The same disparity arises between the two figures seated on an ottoman and a statuette as a centerpiece on the table; the girls in modish tennis outfits have turned their faces from view and upon the table a classical Catholic icon materializes in wavers of brush strokes and outlines making it appear like a magic decal.
“Patchwork” is an example of the range Bohman is sampling from and therefore the depth his technique is capable of (discussion of the painting could continue but something must be left out to intrigue the viewer further). Bohman’s collages modulate the distance between forms of art and the contexts they are portrayed in. As paintings, they congeal what is everyday and what is considered high aesthetics, they invite and estrange in one virtual place.