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Michael Staniak’s hypnotic and textured surfaces act as a portal to a post-digital world, one in which we inhabit both physical and virtual spheres, and reflect on the issues this archival existence can entail. Gently undulating contours shimmer enticingly, redolent of the implied tactility of a touchscreen.
As we voyage deeper into an age of dual environments – the physical and the virtual – Staniak’s textured paintings highlight the phenomena of both realms. The tromp l’oeil effect ensures a variety of visual interpretations: the viewer’s position, either on or offline, affects the subsequent experience. When the paintings are viewed on the screen, the texture is emphasised; when viewed physically they seem flat, like a digital print or a backlit screen. His paintings are reminiscent of cosmic topographies viewed by satellite imaging, or microscopic surfaces blown up to macro levels. Looking at Staniak’s pieces is like entering an uncharted environment: one where lithic surfaces have been imprinted by time and the elements, until a gently undulating surface remains.