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international drawing annual 9 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Paul Loehle
West Chester, OH


detail image


The emergence of Social Networking represents a phenomenon whose true significance has yet to be fully realized; these virtual realms, non-existent a mere ten years ago, are today the stuff of Hollywood myth:  we live in a world fabricated of, dominated by, and existing in computers.  Today nearly every adolescent and young adult with access to a computer has a Facebook account.  We are witnessing the rise of a generation which exists in a world of simulacra—one in which the citizens create their own identities, befriend those they will never meet, and edit their own histories on the hour.  The world of social networking is powerful, dangerous, exciting, and ever-encroaching.

As an artist I am deeply invested in exploring the relationship between reality, fantasy, and the ideal; the ebb and flow of which grows increasingly complex and entrenched within a rapidly evolving society.  Artists since the dawn of time have been magicians of their day, conjuring objects of power and influence, both reflecting and creating society; Realist painters and sculptors for centuries have utilized the influence of their craft to blur the lines between truth, desire, and lies.  Today technology separates the craft of the Old from that of the New, and I am moved to ask “to what extent does the digital world of the computer have the ability to reveal, conceal, or fabricate reality?”

In my practice as an artist, I seek to tie the sphere of traditional Realist painting to the sphere of contemporary popular culture and the digital simulacrum that exists within social networking; in so doing, I hope to create a juxtaposition capable of revealing something true to the beholder through the process of meticulously recreating the social networking profile pictures of anonymous individuals in the traditional medium of pastel.  A delicate sensibility to the craft of drawing acts as a counterbalance to the hasty and disposable nature of the snapshots on which the images are based.  The act of raising the image to the status of an artwork reflects the narcissism of the subject and simultaneously calls my own vanity into question, creating a two-way mirror for artist and subject.
Social networking is a phenomenon whose impact on our society has yet to be truly realized.  Its existence and evolution seem to happen in tandem with Postmodern concerns of the 21st century –its infiltration into our social structure has happened so quickly and seamlessly that most never think to appraise it objectively.  Likewise, traditional methods of art making tend toward the obsolete as we gravitate to the latest tools and methods that technology affords us.  In readdressing a craft of the old world to research aspects of contemporary society, I hope to place my audience in a position to view their worlds critically, to make conscious choices about who they are and how the will live, and ultimately, to preserve their humanity.


born: 1982, Hamilton, Ohio


University of Cincinnati MA Art Education, 2011
University of Cincinnati MFA, 2009
Ohio Wesleyan University, BFA 2005

selected awards/honors

Graduate Student Award for Excellence in TTeaching, DAAP, University of Cincinnati, 2009
Ohio Art Education Association Scholarship, 2nd Place, University of Cincinnati, 2011

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Belongings, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Hamilton, Ohio, 2011

selected group shows

Kingdom, Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2014
Recognized, Carnegie Art Center, Covington, Kentucky, 2014
In the Flesh, Bromwell's Art Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2010
Contemporary Realism Biennial, Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, 2010

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