If you’ve ever been intoxicated enough to feel as if the world were spinning around you at 100 miles per hour, these oil paintings by Alexandra Pacula will look familiar. But it doesn’t take excessive alcohol consumption to experience this sensation; sometimes, all you have to do is stand still on a busy urban corner and take in the frenetic motion from a place of stillness. Pacula’s paintings of nighttime city scenes are intentionally blurred.
“My work investigates a world of visual intoxication; it captures moments of enchantment, which are associated with urban nightlife,” Pacula says in her artist statement. “I am fascinated by the ambiance of the city at night and its seductive qualities. The breathtaking turbulence of speeding vehicles and hasty pedestrians evoke feelings of wonder and disorientation. The vibrant lights become a magical landscape with enticing opportunities and promises of fulfillment.”
Each of Pacula’s paintings is mural-sized, making them appear in galleries as if you could step right into them. The stylized streaks of light suggest those seen in long-exposure photography.
“I recreate the feeling of dizziness and confusion by letting the paint blur and allowing shapes to dissolve. I suggest motion in order to slow down the scene and capture the fleeting moments, which tend to be forgotten. The sense of motion is intensified with the use of quick vigorous lines and sharp perspectives. By interpreting lights in graphic or painterly ways, I create a sense of space, alluding to a hallucinogenic experience.”