Specimens, an exhibition of new oil paintings by Carly Waito, opens at Narwhal Art Projects on Sept 8, 2011. In these works, diminutive specimens of semi-precious gems and minerals are rendered in meticulous detail, exposing the beauty and logic of their structural minutiae. Yet, beyond simple imitation, Waito’s reproductions imbue further worth to objects that are naturally perfect: where each specimen inherently exudes an aura, Waito has both reiterated and enhanced it. The result is a reverent homage to nature’s marvel, the faculty of humankind and the unconditional value of their synergy.
Through curating minerals, photographing them in macroscopic detail and rendering them in oil paints, Waito employs a layered process highlighting the ties between mimesis and levels of value. From the seemingly limitless depths of Smoky Quartz to the chromatic, reflective facets of Sphalerite, the geometry and beauty of each painted specimen speaks to the incredible complexities of nature’s design as well as Waito’s own facility. Each painting expands the infinitesimal traits of the artist’s tiny subjects, rendering them as detailed maps of an otherwise invisible geological universe.