Pareidolia Santa Fe

Vesna Jovanovic
Chicago, Illinois, United States (Summer 2012)

Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon of seeing a recognizable image in something otherwise random, like clouds or wood grain.In the summer of 2011, I spent two months as an artist in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute, which is located in the high desert of New Mexico at about 7260 ft. above sea level. The reduced barometric pressure, low oxygen, dry air, strong sunlight, smoke plumes, and various other environmental factors immediately affected my body as I embarked on exploring the culture of the city and surrounding area. I began a series of Pareidolia drawings that reflected both my bodily and societal experiences in Santa Fe, merging them into an amalgam of symbolic and illustrative representations. The drawings always begin with spilled and blotted ink on paper, which lends itself to imagery that I draw directly on top of the dried ink.

Ultimately this entire body of work alludes to the confusing mixture of curiosity, fear, awe, and mystery that surround the concepts of illness, research, and scientific progress. The drawings are at the same time enticing and repulsive; they are detailed and graceful, yet chaotic and unpredictable.

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VESNA JOVANOVIC is a visual artist with interests in science and perception. She usually works within well-established visual languages such as scientific illustration, often relying on chance in her working process. Jovanovic received undergraduate degrees in ceramics, chemistry, and studio art, and a terminal degree in photography. Since then, she has had over fifty exhibitions including solo shows at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago and the Gordon Center for Integrative Science at the University of Chicago. Her work has been featured in various publications such as Newcity, Time Out Chicago, Art:21 Blog, and Discover Magazine Blogs. Her website is www.vesnaonline.com.

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Highlighted in Frontispiece Summer 2012 – Volume 4, Issue 3