George Byrne, Desert Collage, 2024
George Byrne: Synthetica
Jun 13 – Jul 14, 2024
Show Gallery
Los Angeles, USA

Show Gallery is pleased to present Synthetica, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based Australian artist George Byrne. References to magical realism, modernism, theosophy, and AI combine to explore the tension between the natural and the artificial. The exhibition challenges preconceptions of reality in an increasingly digital age while paying homage to Byrne’s analog photo roots and influence from the new topographic photographers.

Starting from medium format film photographs taken with his Pentax 67 camera, Byrne’s process is one of addition, subtraction, and collage, revealing a new image with the vivid clarity of modernist painting and transforming everyday landscapes and surfaces into painterly abstractions. In Synthetica, glimpses of Los Angeles’ urbanity are hinted at and intertwined with snapshots of epic landscapes and Americana from Byrne’s road trips across the country. Natural and man-made, pieces of Daytona Beach to Death Valley, Yellowstone National Park to Miami’s Cuban quarter are amalgamated into dreamscapes, often decentralized with no discernible location.

From the writer A. Moret on Byrne’s work: “Can you feel an undeniable sense of déjà vu for a place you’ve never been? The world of George Byrne’s “dreamscapes”; in his latest body of work aptly titled Synthetica taps into a collective consciousness of the urban, the quotidian, and the surreal. His decade-long love for his muse and the city he adopted as his home, Los Angeles, has made his photographs unofficial topographic records. The artist revels in a landscape built upon the illusion of Hollywood as he stitches together layers of imagery captured over the years like a mound of film strips spliced and presumed lost on the editing room floor”.

Byrne comments, “I think the message of this show is magic and synthesis. It’s part dreams, part diary entry and part escapism. I strive to make epic scenes out of everyday spaces, but for Synthetica, I chose also to point the lens back at nature, in a way that I haven’t before. My work is a comment on the way I perceive the world around me, it’s a way of seeing the thing in front of me, and then sitting down and concentrating my mind to see if I can envisage something past the thing, the imagined world. I’m more curious about the process of making photos, rather than taking them, which happens through experimentation with various forms of manipulation and digital reconstruction”.

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