Well known for her daring and experimental photographic portraits, Jill Greenberg has returned to drawing and painting with real, physical pigment. Applying and combining a variety of paints—from oil to acrylic to gouache—on a glass support, the artist lights the surface with a combination of artificial and natural light before photographing the abstract compositions by use of a sophisticated digital camera back which allows for maximum detail. While contrast and hue are pushed in the digital capture software, the images themselves are all authentic recordings of the ever-changing light reflected off the paint. Greenberg’s wet and dry pigments fuse creating a dizzying and dynamic field of scrapes and bubbles.
Greenberg purposely took on the medium of painting in response to the appropriation tactics of certain Pictures Generation artists who mine photographic images from mass media, advertising, and the fine arts. These artworks, which have historically been understood to call into question Modernist conceits such as autonomy and originality, have now become so ensnared in the market, they have folded back upon themselves and raise ethical issues concerning fair use and, of course, copyright.