“Vanishing Points” by Justin Vining
Picture this: At the end of a long week you’re tired and craving sleep. You get home, kick off your shoes and slip into something a bit more comfortable. You finally let your head hit the pillow, and with the last of your conscious gaze you take in the linear reality of your room. You blink. The room becomes a bit fuzzier as you begin to fade, and with your fading, the lines of your home become less exact, a bit less precise. You blink again, slower this time. You’ve almost left reality behind and entered into a sort of new realm. There’s newfound depth in your breathing. You’re heavier and lighter all at once as you finally let the eyelids truly get acquainted with one another. Sleep overwhelms you, and it’s not long before you find yourself in a new, metaphysical world. You begin to dream. There is something palpably human about our nightly progression into a dream state…something almost ritualistic. Each night, the world around us, in a sense, vanishes from our immediate consciousness while this movement of vanishing simultaneously points us toward, and brings us into a new world. This world may be bright and whimsical, or it may be dark and haloed. We never know what dreams may come, but, without fail, they always do. And this is precisely what artist Justin Vining has captured.
Featured this month in the Harrison Gallery is Harrison Center artist Justin Vining’s latest body of work entitled “Vanishing Points”. Vining, who in the last few years has come to fully embrace his vocation as a full time artist, has created what is his most diverse body of work to date. “There’s a lot of new thinking going on in this work where I’m trying to figure out how to more effectively communicate my idea,” he explained.
“My newer work is almost intentionally portraying a dream state,” Vining continued, “Usually in a dream state there is a juxtaposition of clarity to ambiguity. Whatever the focus of the dream is, there is a certain level of clarity around that focal point while the information surrounding that focal point begins to fade and become more ambiguous.”
As a visual artist working primarily in watercolors and acrylics, Vining has created a new body of work that shows him reshaping, or perhaps adding to the world of his whimsical landscapes. This progression in his work is characterized, in some cases, by a more minimalistic, and dynamically monochromatic approach to his process resulting in a newfound facet of familiar subject matter. “You can see the influences of other Harrison Center artists in this show,” Vining explained, “Being around all of these other artists is clearly rubbing off on me.”
Vining’s new approach, and newly found inspiration, yields stunning scenes that are recognizably Vining, but magnificently portray a progression in the artist that challenges the maturity of the viewer. This holds especially true as these new works hang beside the pieces that traditionally characterize the Vining we all know and adore.
Justin Vining’s show “Vanishing Points” opens in the Harrison Gallery on Friday, January 2nd at 6:00 in evening. Come follow his progression, and you might just find yourself slowly, yet steadily drifting off into the dream state that is the mind of Justin Vining.