Cristi Rinklin’s Immersive Paintings Recall Digital, Natural Worlds

by Margot BuermannPosted on

It’s not hard to become absorbed in Cristi Rinklin’s otherworldly paintings. The artist creates seamless layers of billowing, amorphous forms and sharply defined lines to depict post-human landscapes that appear to hover weightless in space. These worlds, which take the form of both paintings and installations, are influenced by digital technologies while channeling a grand tradition of illusion in painting. “It is my desire to create paintings and installations that seduce the viewer into believing that the impossible spaces that are presented within them can potentially exist,” the artist says.

In a statement on her website, Rinklin offers insight to the concepts she explores within her works. “The ability to artificially create a heightened sense of reality has become so advanced that it permeates every aspect of our contemporary visual experience,” she writes. “From cinema, to gaming, to virtual reality, sophisticated imaging systems have created ‘seamless worlds’ that viewers can physically inhabit… When our ability to imagine visual knowledge beyond what we see with our own eyes becomes augmented by this technology, our imaginary vision for what is dramatic, awesome, and sublime becomes re-calibrated. My work is a response to this condition.”

Rinklin’s creative process involves sourcing images from paintings, internet searches, wallpaper, and photographs to build digital collages, which are translated into oil and acrylic paintings on aluminum canvas. She uses a variety of techniques, including airbrush and stenciling, to create her atmospheric works in which opposing styles are merged together. Rinklin cites Baroque ceiling paintings, American Luminism and 19th century panoramas as stylistic influences on her work.

Rinklin graduated with a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She is currently based in Boston. Recent exhibitions include solos at Steven Zevitas Gallery and the Currier Museum of Art, and a group show at the Fitchburg Museum of Art.

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