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Injecting life into bubble wrap

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  April 5, 2013 02:20 PM

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You can pack with it and pop it. Turns out you can paint with it, too. Canadian artist Bradley Hart has made two complementary series of paintings using bubble wrap. To begin, he maps out his painting and then injects each bubble with paint, filling it completely. The result is the grainy images you see below, which Hart describes as a play on the ubiquity of digital pixels in our lives. Hart, whose work ends a month-long run at gallery nine5 in New York today, calls this series "Injections." Each injection also produces a corresponding artwork in a series called "Impressions": A precisely measured amount of paint overflows out of each bubble onto a sheet, which Hart peels away to produce a negative image of the injected artwork. For example, the second image, below, of Dam Square in Amsterdam, is an injection and the third image is its corresponding impression. The two paintings create opposing effects in the viewer: The injection is exact and almost lifeless, like a low-res GIF, while the impression has a more immediately negative emotional quality that suggest rupture or disintegration.

Bradley Hart 3.jpg

Bradley Hart 1.jpg

Hart Impression.jpeg

Images courtesy of Bradley Hart and gallerynine5.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

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Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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