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My favourite painting at Frieze 2020

Pieter Schoolwerth's painting "SHIFTED SIMS" #14 (LUXURY PARTY STUFF), 2020

Pieter Schoolwerth's paintings utilize a unique 3D relief "infrastructure" – he first photographs 3D models (composed off of a Sims 4 screenshot), then embeds the matching fragments of the screenshot back into the model in photoshop, prints the file out on canvas, and applies paint on top. In this instance we encounter a green-hued female figure with an almost cubist face, eyeing a rather dismayed looking avatar man across a room presenting a dystopian party scene – birthday cakes, alien orbs, and shadows intermix, superimposed in a complex composition that challenges the eye. “Schoolwerth’s psychoactive tableaus depict CGI avatars let loose in the digital froth: a Baywatch-y beach, a fashion-brand showroom, a furry orgy. He pulls these scenes from screenshots of The Sims 4, the strategic life-simulation computer game where anything goes—or does it? Trailing every avatar is an estranged silhouetted double, snapped into existence by the “shift” of Shifted Sims. Each composition has been superimposed, askew, over the photograph of a handmade 3D relief sculpture of the image. What appears is a shadow realm of vestigial matter, yanked into view on inkjet-printed canvases and parceled in paint.” —Lucy Hunter


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