articles
todd
camplin
2014
JOHN POMARA
at Barry Whistler Gallery through November 29th
by Todd Camplin  

Every couple of years, Barry Whistler Gallery features the works by John Pomara. Last show
was titled off-Key2 where he had some pieces that used clearer references to recognizable
images. This time, Pomara returned to his more abstract images that reference glitches in
information output.  
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I see Pomara’s paintings following the Jean Baudrillard’s precession of simulacra. He starts with
an image he copies/references, masks it, removes from its reality, and then leaves it as a
hyperreal object. Stripped of its former signs and meaning, Pomara leaves us with the power
struggle of digital and analog. Analog has fuzzy edges like his spray can paint marks and
digital uses hard edges and crisp lines. Advertisers have sold digital as superior in quality
product, but Pomara’s art pokes holes in these lies. He breaks his paintings into sections
like a glitched downloaded photograph. Hard-edge painted lines stream down the
painting like lighting. In some of the work from this new series, Pomara introduces the
analog which competes for attention. These spayed on analog elements stream down,
reflecting the action of the digital elements. Ultimately digital fails because it starts as
analog and ends up as a product in analog. No amount of process simulation of the
digital element will end up purely digital, unless left in the computer memory. His
painted product inherently are analog, though it simulates the digital look.
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Several AbEx painters of the 1940’s and 50’s celebrated their violent gestures of mark making
on the canvas. These artists were attempting to destroy what came before and supplant it
with new forms and language in art. Pomara’s glitch art represents acts of violence on
information. His paintings are purposefully destroyed images that are then reconstructed
as paintings. As a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, he has seen and helped

To paraphrase Baudrillard from Simulacra and Simulation, we have more information and less
Studio view, 2014
Digital-Distraction, 2014
Oil enamel on aluminum
70.5” x 46.5”