I found myself entranced last week by a collection of art at The Gershwin Hotel in New York. Entitled Welcome to the Panopticon, the exhibition of paintings focuses on the capture of our daily lives, and reflects on the impact of surveillance. The artist, Wayne Toepp, writes of the work on his own website:
This body of work engages the twin notions of watching and being watched. I am examining images collected from the continual data stream of the expanding security environment that we move through in our daily comings and goings. The surveillance state has indeed arrived, attended by an ever more rapidly diminishing sphere of privacy.
…If art is a process of pointing, it must register and account for that which it is pointing toward. I have chosen to examine, at some length, images culled from actual surveillance video because I would like the viewer to register both the disintegration of privacy and the implications of surveillance technology in the current political climate.
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It is refreshing to see modern art that is not simply an exercise in provoking for the sake of it, or trying to elevate offense to an art of its own, but displaying a surreal sort of beauty while leading the viewer to think and feel about something that matters. See more in Wayne Toepp’s portfolio.