Overview

Anoka Faruqee and David Driscoll collaborate to create bewildering paintings devised of layers of carefully misaligned, concentric circles which generate optical effects.  The resulting moiré — the fusion of two or more patterns which create another, much more complex pattern — echoes various natural systems, such as wave formations, stress patterns, and magnetic fields.  But for the artists, the moiré phenomenon demonstrates that what we perceive as light, form and space is, at its most basic, bits of assembled data.  Pixels.  Atoms.  Nano-particles.  These paintings make the invisible tangible.

 

A moiré pattern is an interference effect created by the overlay of two or more offset patterns.  The fusion of the patterns creates another pattern that is quite unlike and much more complex than any of the individual ones.  You often see these moirés in overlapping window screens or woven fabrics.  They are also a common unwanted residue of digital and print imagery, when the pixelation or banding mis-registers.  Moiré seems to have a stubborn, underlying logic that when created by hand, and in color, becomes all the more unpredictable and exhilarating.

 

The moiré paintings are created with notched, comb-like trowels, revealing an image that is both graphic and utterly material.  Despite the seamlessness of their almost glass-like surfaces, these paintings reveal a dense materiality, thus integrating the systemics of opticality with the unruly physicality of paint.  They are not slick (though they often appear so in reproduction), and they expose their making: a slight topography of paint, an un-taped side, a slip of the hand.  This exposure emphasizes the materiality of their process and the humanity of both the artists and the viewer.  While optical painters have sometimes eliminated such 'imperfections' as visual distractions, these physical 'slips' can rather augment the optical when used pointedly.

 

Faruqee and Driscoll have been a couple since 1998, married since 2008, and collaborators in their painting practice since 2012.  Prior to co-authoring their moiré paintings, both painters made work that, among other things, questioned conventions of authorship and originality.  Their collaboration, though it grew out of pragmatic solutions to process-based challenges, has become a conceptual practice that contests traditional notions of the artist as an individual with a singular identity and vision — and opens a conversation about the value of cooperation in the creative process.   

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