Without Walls

A jaunt through the boundless visual worlds of six young, successful Columbia artists.

by David Shapiro '01CC Published Summer 2013
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Marc Handelman

When the curtain is pulled back in The Wizard of Oz, the audience discovers that “there is something more real in the illusion of something than the real thing.” Marc Handelman ’03SOA invokes this critique by Slavoj Žižek while talking about illusionism in his paintings, large-scale oils that move deftly between abstraction and representation, focusing on landscapes, surfaces, and qualities of light.

Handelman’s new, yet-to-be-exhibited paintings fill every wall of his studio in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood. The works are based upon manipulated stock images of patterns in rock surfaces. In this series, Handelman sprinkles crushed-glass particles onto the wet paintings, giving them a velvety quality and shifting tones that impart a resemblance to computer screens.

Handelman based an earlier series on weapons manufacturers’ advertisements, focusing on the clichéd image of the sunset over the endless American landscape. He used various painting processes to represent and disrupt these commercial visions of the sublime. In one such technique, Handelman painted an image on a preliminary surface, then transferred it to the canvas using a sheet of plastic, resulting in an image interrupted with random fragments.

Portrait by Jörg Meyer

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