Pixelate

Dan Grossman, NUVO: In his new oil paintings, Kyle Ragsdale’s 19th century subjects are composed of hundreds of distinct varicolored brush strokes. This gives them a certain low-res jpeg quality. In “Sing a Magic Spell,” a young woman is lifting her black dress, as if curtseying, and staring serenely ahead (only her face is not pixelated). Her Victorian-era dress is also illuminated by hundreds of points of light while the background is a colorful patchwork design. A similar effect can be seen in “Happy Presbyterians I.” The two female figures have a luminescent insubstantiality, however, as though they’re in the process of being teleported onto the Starship Enterprise. Ragsdale’s style throughout his new work is uniquely his own — one aptly described by the title of the exhibit. Other Ragsdale paintings, such as the bluish patchwork “Snow on Snow on Snow,” lack human subjects and are all abstract pixelation, as it were. Ragsdale is an artist interested in experimenting in a variety of styles — and in shaking our perceptions.

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