Res Ipsa proudly presents Broadband, a series of paintings by New York artist Nick Weber. Broadband is a series of paintings inspired by still images that Weber selects from internet porn videos. The show is on display November 2, 2012, through March 16, 2013.
WEBER: My relationship with porn had been relatively average, even a bit light. But that changed around 1999, with the arrival of high-speed internet. I was in my late twenties, had always thought about sex a lot, and found myself suddenly able to watch videos of all sorts with remarkable ease. Eventually, I began to paint what I saw on the computer screen.
Porn and the internet are alike in that both offer the appearance of connection. But I have found the internet isolating. I remember living and working in more communal settings: fields, offices, project spaces, face to face, knee to knee with others. Sitting in an apartment with a computer is ultimately lonely; I suspect most people feel that way. When denied an animal existence, I hunger, more than ever, for the physical, the carnal. And the very technology that separates us from each other seems to offer a form of satisfaction: videos of naked people banging into each other.
Body-on-body action in our age of impersonal violence (getting ‘fucked’ by faceless corporations, banks, and health insurance companies) is actually a breath of fresh air. It gives us a whiff of the reality beneath the politeness. Not surprisingly, porn is more ubiquitous than ever.
JOHN McWHINNIE*: Naked, the bodies in Weber’s paintings don’t give a place to hide the voyeurism and maybe this is what makes viewers so uncomfortable: they want to shove themselves back between the sheets, heads beneath pillows – anything to avoid confronting the fact that you and I live in a society that markets sex in the same way it cuts down rainforest to make a Big Mac. That’s a tough truth, and the links between the two might not be immediately apparent, that is, if we stay blind to our voyeuristic complicity… but don’t blame it on Nick Weber. He’s not hiding anywhere in these paintings. It’s all there to see if you look long enough without growing uncomfortable. (Click here for full text of McWhinnie’s essay, “Nick Weber Paints It Like He Sees It”)
Res Ipsa, together with Kairos Editions, has published a limited edition hard-bound monograph of Broadband (500 numbered copies). The book contains an essay by John McWhinnie, was featured at Fulton Ryder’s booth at the 2012 New York Art Book Fair, and is available for purchase here.
* John McWhinnie was an iconic contemporary art and rare book dealer in New York; he passed away in January, 2012, at the age of 43. For more information, see his obituary from the Wall Street Journal.