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  • Source: ARTFORUM
  • Author: Editorial Staff
  • Date: January 2015
  • Format: PRINT

Jacolby Satterwhite


Artforum Magazine cover, January, 2015

Trina, the rapper from Miami, is also known as the Diamond Princess, and her crystalline image is everywhere, from the fan site to bottles of her namesake perfume. She is everywhere, in particular, in Jacolby Satterwhite’s new series of tableaux, En Plein Air. Endless interations of her pneumatic figure populate galactic landscapes in glittery jewel tones, surrounded by renderings of other contorted, slickly muscled bodies-including that of Satterwhite himself. The bodies perch and sway on the structures that resemble helicopters, subwoofers, monstrous networks of wires, splintered arks, and vast braids of hair that hover like space stations. Some of these fantastic architectures are based on design drawings made by Satterwhite’s mother, which appear throughout his work, and which he traces and manipulates in the 3-D animation software Maya to generate twisted adn impossible forms. Exquisitely rendered gradient surfaces wrap around deliberately crude wire-frame shapes; astral, cloud-laden backgrounds are subdivided like so many unfolding topologies. Such elemts and characters will morph still further in the animations for Satterwhite’s upcoming video En Plein Air: Diamond Princess.

A few centuries ago, plein air painting sucked the artist out of the studio and into the wide open, plunging the body into an immersive, overwhelming, discontinuous outdoors – an unmooring that was far from natural, that was in fact constantly mediated by technologies of seeing, from the Claude glass to the panorama. This was a new kind of space, and Satterwhite seems to show us what it has become: not one but many boundless, depthless worlds and screens, all mobile and connected, and everywhere strange.

A six-page artwork portfolio accompanies this piece.