I have worked for the past 15 years on two-dimensional paintings and works on paper, and on installations that explore the themes of the psychological relationship of humans to nature and the physical world. This two-pronged aspect to my artistic production has enabled me to have a multitude of exhibition opportunities, ranging from galleries and museums to alternative spaces and experimental art venues in the US and abroad. I have explored the ideas from two perspectives: the philosophical (utilizing intellect in the development of self-awareness) and the phenomenological (elevating the experiential nature of existence in furthering understanding of the work of art, and by extension, the self). I often involve elements of natural phenomenon as processes in the physical construction of my work, processes such as chemical patination, light-sensitive photo imaging, magnetism, mirror reflection, after-image, and phosphorescence. My work tends to be experiential: It is never fully described through photographic documentation, such that even the paintings, done on copper and encrusted with chemical crystallization, change dramatically depending on the lighting or the angle one views them from. In fact, they are most fully experienced by looking at them from a distance and then very close up, possibly even aided by a magnifying glass. This level of exploration is invited by the physicality of the surfaces and the fact that a real chemical event has taken place on the surface. The crystallization of the patinas form a kind of fractal pattern which contains the phenomenology of nature in miniature: landslides, erosion, sedimentation, and streambed formations arise at the suprascopic level, at the visibility limits of the naked eye. These formations teach me about painting, actually how to paint chaotic forms, by revealing the invisible and underlying structure of trails, forms, and web like patterns. It is into this surface that I plant the pictures of nature, cultural imprints that claim the space, pave it over, civilize it. These pictures of nature and details of human presence populate the space as an analogy to humanity’s need to put our face on the world; the paintings then work as a kind of mapping of painting space as a domination of the universe, a transformation of nature to the fulfillment of ego and pleasure.

A mirror reflects not the self but the image of the self. In Lacanian psychoanalysis, the construction of the ego begins with the recognition of a self in the mirror. It is the point at which the world separates into the me/not me. I am interested in the idea of the positioning of the ego in an attempt to locate the self amidst the incomprensibility of the external world at large. Only a dismantling of ego merges the interior with the exterior into a non-dualistic whole world. A most telling moment of the recent past came with the completion of the Human Genome Project, the mapping of the human genetic sequence. According to the central dogma of DNA theory, humans, as the most complex organism on earth, were expected to have an enormous gene count, predicted to number 100,000. Instead, in the end, the human gene count numbered just around 30,000, just about as many genes as a mustard weed. I feel this is significant in revealing that humans are but a tiny part of a vastness beyond comprehension, connected to every weed, and no more, nor no less important.

Pam Longobardi
1090 Standard Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30319