"Turn it to 1," ClampArt's inaugural Artsy Online Exclusive exhibition, brings together artworks that inspire moments of peace and wonder. Curated by Raechel McCarthy.
This group of artworks suggests a form of visual mindfulness, in which art becomes a way to dissolve the turbulent energy and chaos all around. As humanity blasts full-throttle into the future, many of us are left feeling disconnected, distracted, and thirsting for psychic salvation. The practice of mindfulness has been touted by everyone from self-help gurus to CEOs as an antidote to our hectic, wired lives. Meditation apps abound and “Wellness” has become a bona fide news category in numerous mainstream media outlets.
Practitioners of mindfulness regularly set aside time for turning down the volume on life, cultivating presence, and reconnecting with the greater universe. Here artists achieve clarity and stillness by capturing ephemeral occurrences or offering transitory glimpses of their subjects. Others document the dissolution of form or focus on visual essence rather than likeness. Each offers soothing visual therapy.
Many of these works capture the basic elements of light, air, water, and sediment in moments of exquisite balance. They reveal the magic in the mundane: how a ray of sunlight generates a perfect halo, a shimmering reflection, or a rainbow. Realization that these extraordinary moments can come undone with a gust of wind, a rush of water, or the slightest shift in perspective allows us to connect with our innate sense of wonder and grounds us in the present moment.
Other images transform a powerful event into a whisper, such as Rinko Kawauchi’s photograph of the hazy Tokyo sky taken one day after the catastrophic earthquake in 2011. Nancy Burson’s whimsical “Fireworks in Daylight #6” reveals pastel clouds and twirling smoke in refreshing contrast to the typically thunderous, glittering, nighttime display. Lastly, JoJo Whilden’s photograph of a skid mark on asphalt offers elegant evidence of an automobile that may have veered completely out of control.