Oceanfront Property, 3bd 2ba, Needs TLC
This brightly-lit painting of the Southern California landscape is both accurate and otherworldly. This work is part of a series by the artist, Oceanfront Property, that depicts sandcastles on the brink of collapse in the rising tide. These paintings engage in playful fantasy, exploring the simple pleasure of building and destroying dreams in sand, while also commenting on housing scarcity and the abrasive effects of climate change. The crumbling Southern California landscape has been reconfigured so many times. Although many beaches are open to all, swimming is not always advised due to pollution and volatile waves encroaching upon the shoreline. In this series of works, the fragile balcony of a sandcastle offers the perfect vantage point to reconsider the dream of home ownership and other seismic shifts.
Using her own reference photos, Olivia Hill uses a combination of techniques to create these works. The artist tightly renders formations into the pictorial space among layers of expressive painterly marks that activate the surface of the canvas. When viewed from a distance, the scene coheres; upon closer inspection, the illusion ruptures as the composition reveals: swaths of sandy medium, spray paint and splatter; fomenting swirls of pigment and mineral spirits; and impasto built up to form a consistently disturbed world. The resulting landscape is an examination of our exchange with the Earth—including the harmonies and dissonances, as well as the exploitative qualities.
Olivia Hill’s paintings are accurate yet otherworldly depictions of the brightly-lit Southern California landscape. The artist works from her own reference photos, freely intervening with her own inventive associations when recreating a scene from limited data. Just as the so-called wilderness is carved and imprinted with ideologies and myth, Olivia Hill’s paintings are confabulations whose closeness to the truth is unexpectedly surreal.
This painting depicts sandcastles on the brink of collapse in the rising tide. This work explores the simple pleasure of building and destroying dreams in sand, while also commenting on housing scarcity and the abrasive effects of climate change.More