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Rachel Sitkin  Baltimore, MD

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Rachel

My work investigates the evolving relationship between humans and the landscape. We live in an era of shifting cultural consciousness regarding the place and power of humans in the world. This conceptual shift affects us spiritually, socially, and economically. This relational evolution is a central theme in my latest work. Informed by air travel, virtual travel over the Internet, maps, modeling and real-world experience, our notion of the landscape is collapsed, our sense of scale altered. In my paintings and through my research I re-consider specific landscapes as models, easily controlled and toyed with.

The subject matter of this current body of work is surface mining. Mines serve as a visual metaphor for our simultaneous ownership over and dependence on the land. The function of these landscapes is twofold: they exist both as sites of commodified nature and as the beautiful archeological relics they will become. The pre-existing topography of the land dictates a direction to the extraction process. The tracks left by the absent figure in pursuit of power and progress reveal the elegant geometry unique to our species. The resultant landscape is a meeting of the slow accumulation of matter over millenia, and the precise, efficient excavation by man-made machines.

Rachel appears in the following Top 10 lists



10 of 18 reactions displayed

"beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? the paintings as complete images are beautiful.this artist's technique is beautiful.strip mining may leave beautiful "archeological relics" (depending on the point of view of the archeologist or who ever encounters them far in the future), the ecological devastation RIGHT NOW - that which is left behind during and after resource extraction is NOT beautiful in perhaps countless ways...."

"pic a; finding the warmth and companionship of domestic living at the palms of a rock/mountain.pic b; integration of infrastructural development as a platform for communal strength"

"I see an indigenous man holding a staff and boomerang with someone behind him shutting his eys with his hands."

"Right, Christine, they beheaded "their" mountain."

"I don't see the beauty in pretty. If your pictures are cosmetics, they hide rather than reveal and your walls become a womb. Good luck with that. On the other hand, pc paintings are city cousins to the flag-waving used-car dealer down the block. What I like are the two geometries, upper and lower, the cones of the world eroded naturally and the arc and horizontals of the world eroded by businessmen. Especially telling is the base of the painting in which the pit just begins to emerge and both geometries merge. Rachel's vision is creative but--I swear--it doesn't make me think. It makes me see. Like a mandalaRachel, I especially appreciate your generous vision, one that sees how today and yesterday will evolve tomorrow."

"I like at initial glance I saw pastels blending as sky and land do when light is waxing or waning, then stark contrasts not natural, reformed, not quite deformed though, almost palatable. Whole mountains disappearing to mine molybdenum in Colorado (1970's), shocking, the audacity I thought midst such beauty for a metal I had to look up. An amputation of an entire mountain of the Rockies as if a tree in the forest. Rachel, I find myself thoughtful and ambivalent about affordable housing and roads to improve commerce for ordinary livelihood, the conflict of "at what cost?". I wonder if Bonnard's haystacks in pastel were seen privately as fields obliterated and used or beautiful a sign of progress and change of light and season. Probably on scale not a comp."

"beautiful work!"

"Rachel's work really translates well for me. I appreciate the bright colors and slightly surreal feel mixed with this otherwise realistic explains mining and other human-affected landscape to me in a way I had never considered before."

"I looked through her websit and a lot of her art is beautiful. I don't see the beauty in strip mining either but the rest of her work is great."

"i am a native of southern nevada and i agree with rachel, i to see the beauty of man in will never end ....face it."

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