Front Room Gallery is proud to present "Left at Crystal Brook Boulevard," a solo exhibition of new works on paper by Ross Racine. In this series Racine has added color to his palette, creating a layer of mystery and intrigue to his aerial depictions of fictional suburban communities. Racine is also working on a larger scale, allowing the viewer to be absorbed in the intricacies of his realistic and exaggerated infrastructure. This shift in scale and color allows Racine to further push the boundary between expected and unexpected, creating a sense of abstraction within realistic compositions.
Ross Racine creates his hyper-real suburban landscapes with a uniquely developed drawing method combining the languages of drawing and digital imaging. The importance of color varies greatly from image to image, as some images are saturated, some have subdued tints, and some revert back to pure gray scale. The decisions about color are made as each image evolves during the process of creation, and its final form is meant to reinforce a particular mood that matches the character of the landscape.
Racine’s works on paper present realistic and structural layouts of invented subdivisions, which illustrate the insulated conditions common in these types of developments. Using an omniscient viewpoint from above, Racine creates intricate layouts of communities that are filled with nuanced detail. The aerial atmosphere of each work presents a particular mood that matches its character.
In Racine's piece "Pleasant Hills," streets bend and swerve in all directions, revealing a vision of community where there are no straight lines, no parallels and no real divisions. There is an air of playfulness in the work; the shortest distance between two points is no longer the straight line, creating a world where rigidity and structure lose potency in the face of uninhibited creative exploration.
Ross Racine draws a cross section between the tangible reality of suburbia and the illusionary realm, concisely depicting the disconnection between desire and its actualization, questioning the feasibility and logic in fulfilling dreams of private space within a community, the luxury of easy access to stores and goods, a neighborly atmosphere, and the overarching attraction to "more."
Ross Racine is a recent recipient of the Canada Council for the Art Project grant in 2012, whose proceeds helped in the creation of a portion of the works presented in this exhibition.