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“Counter-gravitational cities tattooed on walls”

In Excerpts, Thoughts on April 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

Part of the appeal of horror movies and apocalyptic video games is certainly the ruined environments they offer. We adore abandoned buildings, burnt-out shells, disintegrating infrastructure. In film, a ghost town fascinates us regardless of the potential for real ghosts. The visual of it is enough.

So the paintings—if they can be called mere paintings—of Gerry Judah will resonate with nearly everyone, at least on that level. As described by Geoff Manaugh:

“Gerry Judah’s paintings are massively and aggressively three-dimensional, piling up, away, and out from the canvas to form linked cities, ruins, and debris-encrusted bridges…so covered in white it’s as if nuclear winter has set in.”

“Judah embeds entire architectural models in each piece, affixing small constellations of buildings to the canvas before beginning a kind of archaeological onslaught: layering paint on top of paint, raining strata down for days to seal the landscape in place and make it ready for wall-mounting. And then the paintings go up, sprawling and counter-gravitational, like ruins tattooed on the walls.”

Judah’s process, complete with a haunting score:

Another installation forewent the canvas for a complete three-dimensional structure, resembling a 5,000-year-old gothic space station drifting through the galaxies, its partial destruction preserved by the non-elements of space.

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