Jonathan Viner’s Computer Science Degree

Jonathan Viner has been working on a new tech-savvy collection of paintings entitled, “Computer Science,” presented by Sloan Fine Art in New York. Jonathan paints tribute to his childhood, growing up as a twin and spending countless hours with his Father in the robotics lab at the New York Institute of Technology where he worked. Like all of us, Jonathan is overrun with daily impressions of online culture adding subtle, idiosyncratic humor to his latest assembly of oil paintings.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Jonathan’s body of work honors the great portrait painters throughout history—Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780—1867, French) to John Currin (1962, Boulder, CO). Ingres was a Neoclassical painter who leaned towards romanticism in painting. John Currin is a Figurative painter who captures many of his most recent subjects from online pornography. The result for Jonathan Viner, is a new collection of likeable characters and unlikely heroes.

John Currin

Balancing time between Fatherhood, establishing his new studio and painting, Jonathan took time out to answer a few questions about his latest collection.

mM : “Computer Science” at Sloan Fine Art is a great title for your upcoming exhibition. What inspired you to paint this body of work, and capture the grandeur of computer science grads? Do you have a personal connection to your subjects?

VINER : I started painting these shortly after my first son was born, so I had "fatherhood" on my mind. Started thinking about my own childhood. My dad taught computer science when I was a kid, and we’d visit him at the robotics lab where he worked. So I have kinda nostalgic memories from this period in the early 80's, which is pretty much the dawn of the computer/information age.

Flash forward 30 years and this industry of computer nerds has quietly but drastically changed the world. While I was working on these paintings, I searched for images using Google on an iPad right there at my easel. I'd converse with artists, critics and fans on Facebook from my rather isolated studio in Brooklyn. So the concept for the show seemed to be very relevant and appropriate at this time in my life.

mM : Plenty has changed over the course of the last 12 months, new baby, new studio, new body of has the impact of life’s events affected your new body of work?

Yeah, you forgot to mention "new apartment" too! Honestly it was a huge disruption to my work. Just one major life change after another, for more than a year...I had to shift focus from work to family for quite a while. And I needed to be patient while I searched for the right spaces. But it was well worth it. I finally have a great set up, and most importantly some long-term stability.

mM : How much time do you spend on Facebook by you? How about your fellow artist pals?

I have no idea, other than "too much time"! Thanks to the iphone, the line between being on Facebook and off Facebook is very fuzzy. I mean, it's right there in your pocket now, you know?

Check out Jonathan Viner at Sloan Fine Art this Wednesday on display with Liz McGrath, March 30 from 6 to 8 pm. On exhibit March 31 to April 30, 2011. Please contact the gallery for more information.

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