Gahan is interested in using art to explore how the world we live in today is different from any other point in history. Working from photos of real places, the imagery is embellished with a combination of saturated colors, delicate line-work, ephemeral transparencies, and robust gel applications to represent a contemporary view of the world. Gahan explores the impact of architecture, urban planning, art, technology, and popular culture in shaping our everyday experiences and environmental surroundings. Gahan considers relationships between nature and built environments, public space and private experience, architecture and advertising, organic and synthetic forms, as well as local and global connections.
The title "Reconstructing the View" references how human beings continually alter their environment. It also references how Gahan's painting process reconstructs existing views of nature and architecture, imbuing them with a stylized aesthetic that both draws attention to our surrounding environments, but also leaves room for creative interpretation. Gahan’s work strives to balance beauty and inspiration with a critical consideration of our growing urban environments.
In each painting, the sense of movement, instability and growth is alluring and unnerving. Watery backgrounds are beautifully surreal, yet unnatural. The bubble-like forms, gaseous and untethered, are an eerie reminder of the constantly changing state of our atmosphere and surroundings. Buildings are painted with translucent walls while foliage sprawls in thickly protruding paint suggesting the delicateness of the built environment amidst a bold landscape. Saturated palettes used throughout depict natural and artificial environments as extensions of one another. Shiny acrylic foliage is tempting like the glossy finish of a sports car or high-fashion advertisement. This heightened saturation and enhanced beauty recalls the impact of digital photos, videos and even the filtered appearance of our lives through social media. Gahan’s artwork represents the intersection of constructed and natural beauty in which both pleasure and conflict are present.
With this show, Gahan has introduced for the first time interior landscapes using imagery from conservatories. The conservatory is an interesting concept, because it has beautiful architecture that houses landscapes which are both natural yet unnaturally cultivated. The line between what is natural and altered by humans is never clear. The idea that all landscapes are to some degree altered or impacted by human existence is integral in Gahan's art practice and especially key in this show.
This body of work combines both iconic Seattle locations and less identifiable views from throughout the region. It also features several water landscapes which play an essential role in Northwest nature, culture and commerce.
Gahan has developed a contemporary visual language employing color, texture and beauty to draw attention to our everyday surroundings and experiences. “Reconstructing the View,” focuses on the way in which we construct our local built environment and in turn how those actions affect our natural landscapes and Northwest culture.