Marria Pratts (Spain, 1988) and Serban Ionescu (Romania/USA, 1984) are up and coming artists, with prestigious solo shows at major art institutions like MACBA and work featured in The New York Times between the two of them. Both have also been featured in Apartamento Magazine. Ionescu and Pratts worked at the Zaventem Ateliers as part of the artist in residency program by Everyday Gallery (EVERYDAY AIR). The upcoming solo shows at Everyday Gallery will be their Belgian debut.
While both artists have their own distinctive style and focus, they both use drawing to engage in a sustained reflection on the impact of deskilling and embodiment in the digital age. With everything automated, always present on screen and available in the cloud- what happens to the small and intuited gestural movements, coordinated by our embodied memories and unleashing the effervescent emotions through touch? What happens to the self that is composed through these gestures and emotions? These are questions central to the work of both Pratts and Ionescu.
As anyone who has tried to sign a digital document with a track pad or mouse will know, more than just muscle memory is lost when our uniquely individual autograph is rendered into a broken-up composite of jagged digital lines that most of all resemble the scribblings of a three-year-old. This is a digital deskilling and a deconstruction of the self that makes one feel awkward and out of touch. It is also the starting point for the anxiety-ridden ghosts and grabbing hands that fade in and out of Marria Pratts painterly work, as well as the basis for the jagged shapes that Serban Ionescu takes as a basis for his sculptural work.
Taking the post-digital condition as their starting point, Pratts and Ionescu construct a uniquely original oeuvre in which drawing plays a central aesthetic role, allowing both the artists and the viewers to engage in a critical reflection on the remnants and awkwardness of their own embodiment in a digital age.
Artists: Marria Pratts, Serban Ionescu