Artist StatementA screen is off. It is a mirror. It doesn’t last long. The blue glow returns to your face - one more thing to look up, another thing to check, plenty of time to watch - it’s just a short video. Once we wrote in journals, diaries, letters but now our thoughts and desires are mapped in browser histories, in comments and reviews and the constant reminder that it’s our choice – it’s all our choice please enjoy your freedom of customization and don’t forget to rate us! The craving for input and stimulation found in screens is a loop of data – a footprint of you that is stomped into the stream of information that flows all around like light, air, and water. What would happen if the screens that we cling to so tightly become a true mirror of ourselves? They occupy our brains and time and imagination, but we are more than the sum of our devices. As humans, we are biology and physical needs and electrical impulses in a complex and messy system that dwarfs the data crunching processes going on behind the screen. What if those screens adapted to be like us and cracked open with all the new information coursing through them? Flesh is loss of control; a disruption of the clean code that guides it. Virtual has cracked through to the physical, the glossy flat surface that will be contained no longer. Technological devices profoundly change our most private experiences. In this body of work, visceral colors and textures punctuate sleek blue surfaces reminiscent of glowing screens. Fleshy and painterly explosions disrupt calm glossy surfaces. Paint is a metaphor for that which is messy, physical and real in an increasingly screen-obsessed world.
Raised in the Chicago area, Heidi Neff earned her MFA in painting and drawing from University of Iowa in 2002. Neff's work has consistently explored the ongoing search for meaning through spiritual and physical connection. She exhibits her work at Amos Eno Gallery in New York, NY and in alternative spaces around the country. She is a professor of art and design at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland, where she lives with her husband, Paul Chuffo, and their two amazing children.