This July, NASA launched the primary footage from the James Webb House Telescope, eternally altering the precision with which we visualize the cosmos. The photographs’ aesthetics, nevertheless, are unsettlingly acquainted, with their twinkling stars and smudge-like spiral galaxies drawing comparisons to bowling-alley carpets and the covers of pulp paperbacks.
With the exhibition “Wave Upon Wave,” Julian Rogers faucets into an identical vibe as he turns our gaze skyward via a collection of sunsets and cloudscapes rendered with beautiful verisimilitude. Rogers beforehand labored within the studios of Jeff Koons and Bjarne Melgaard, the place he honed his abilities as an trade painter. His clouds are impeccably crafted, the brushwork seeping easily into the canvas proper as much as the very edges of every nimbus. By means of thinly utilized oils, the artist coaxes out an astounding number of textures, starting from blindingly lit popcorn fluff to the dingy streaks of stratus clouds, slung low throughout the sky just like the ripped knees of denim denims. However for all their claims to realism, the work are stubbornly fictional, hailing from digital composites forged in impossibly daring palettes. For Ranch Hand, 2021, the overlapping swells are available shades of baby-powder-bottle pinks towards an eruption of cobalt and indigo. In Wild Horses on Authorities Land, 2022, a cadmium-red mushroom cloud wobbles on a cornflower-blue base, simply above some melon-hued strands of nightfall. The synthetic points of the compositions are much more pronounced in Rogers’s sunsets. Infinite, Anonymous, 2021, sandwiches a number of rogue suns in a layer cake of darkish clouds, whereas My Sundown Underground, 2022, is pierced by a type of windshield glare. And but, as with the Webb photos, these fantasy frontiers really feel unusually acquainted, suggesting the domesticated chic of preloaded screensavers.