"Millennial Meditations" (2009-10):


Witty, humorous, and disturbing, Lisa Birke describes her work "as eye candy with a hint of acid." Michael Scott, critic for the Vancouver Sun, writes "Birke, paint(s) with all the trilling unself-conscious gusto of nightingales singing." Gary Michael Dault, critic for the Globe and Mail has written that her paintings "possess a crackling visual inventiveness supported by an almost disconcerting virtuosity with the brush."

In my most recent work, I am interested in the new ways of interpretation, organization, and representation of imagery and information of a society viewing life and existence through cyber windows.

Living in a computerized image databank culture, we are overfed on a constant stream of über-information, obese with hyper-entertainment and immediate quick fixes of adrenaline-infused knowledge. On a single computer screen we are able to overlay endless boxes containing related and unrelated, historic and contemporary, researched and fabricated, real and cartoon material. The dichotomy of the transience of fads, happenings and the news is played out against the historicization of culture through instantaneous digital storage of the same.

My paintings attempt to encapsulate the fleeting, complex and often chaotic nature of life and image by utilizing a collage-like process of layering different styles and techniques within the same frame. Some of the forms appear solid and heavy, their prominence accentuated by heavy opaque brushstrokes, whereas other images appear on the verge of disappearing altogether due to their translucent manifestations. Subject and background merge and undulate in a constant dance of uncertainty, leaving us with the nagging unanswerable questions of 'who are we?' and 'what is this thing we call post-contemporary existence?'

all content © Lisa Birke 2015