Benjamin David Steele
Impossible Objects is a series of oil paintings constructed to faithfully represent installations in my studio. The installations are composed of plaster, wood, mirrors, other optical instruments, and projected landscape imagery. I am interested in the feeling of infinity, which comes from images of idealized landscapes, contrasted with the shallow depth of the actual space represented. I have become fascinated with visual-effects cinematography, or rather physical techniques employed to create a sense of the impossible before digital technology existed. I have used many of these techniques in installations, such as rear projection, matte paintings, desilvered mirrors, as well as scale models and backdrops, to create scenes that feel digitally manipulated and evoke otherworldly associations but are in fact from the natural physical world. These installations serve as inspiration for oil paintings whose subject refers back to the illusory act of painting. A viewer is made to believe in a scene that does not actually exist.