AM DeBrincat: Paintings of The Internet
AM DeBrincat is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer, and publisher. DeBrincat creates mixed-media paintings that blend traditions of figurative painting, historical portrait photography, and printmaking. Through a multi-step process involving digital collage, xerox transfer printing, and painting, DeBrincat’s lush, multi-layered paintings come to life.
AM DeBrincat grew up in San Francisco, California, a place commonly associated with Silicon Valley and the tech industry. Perhaps it’s fitting, then, that her paintings are about internet culture and the way that we construct identities online. DeBrincat has a multi-stage process for creating her work that combines digital and analog technology, and merges them into complex paintings which explore the way that we interact with the internet.
To create her work, DeBrincat harvests images from online databases such as Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media and advertising sites, and merges them with found images of historical portrait photography. This digital collage is transferred to the canvas using xerox transfer printing. (Xerox transfer printing is a grassroots, DIY form of printmaking usually associated with wheat-pasting, zines, and the punk rock movement). In a way, it’s a vestigial technology from a time before the internet when photocopiers were the most immediate way to cheaply spread information. DeBrincat has said that she views xerox transfer printing as “the perfect translator of the digital image to the analog surface of the canvas.” Using this process, DeBrincat takes a digital printout and literally separates the toner from the paper it’s printed on, adhering the toner to the canvas – translation from digital to analog indeed.
DeBrincat then uses acrylic washes to tint the transfer-printed image, a throw-back to the way that photographers used to hand-tint black-and-white photographs in the early 1900s. She also uses spray paint, colored pencil, and oil paint to render stitched-together, hybrid faces within this web of photographic imagery. Her paintings draw on the long tradition of figurative painting and portrait painting to fill out the digital imagery with the human, analog touch.
Fundamentally, DeBrincat’s work is about how we make and consume images, both online and in the analog world of our psychological landscape. Her practice is firmly grounded in both digital and traditional media, capturing the tension between the history of art and where visual culture is headed – into the vast realm of cyberspace.
AM DeBrincat works out of her studio in an industrial section of Brooklyn, New York, but her work can be seen in solo and group shows across the country and internationally. In addition to her work as an artist, she also writes about art, and she is the Founding Editor and Publisher of ArtFile Magazine [www.artfilemagazine.com], an online arts journal with an international focus. See more of AM’s work at www.amdebrincat.com.
Visit www.exposeartmagazine.com for more artists.