Felipe Pantone’s glitchy combinations of black and white patterns with overlaid incandescent rainbows explore time, technology, and movement in a world of free and limitless information.
The digital luminescence of Pantone’s work encompasses the past, present and future at once. His colossal murals and installations have taken over public spaces worldwide, from Bangkok and Monterrey to New York and Moscow, as well as at prestigious museums including Palais de Tokyo in Paris and even Facebook’s headquarters in California.
- Group show, Dream Box, at the MIMA Museum, Brussels, 2019
- Interactive online artwork, Configurable, launched in 2018
- Solo show, Transformable Systems, at the Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, 2018
- Solo show, Artifact to Human Communication, at Underdogs Gallery, Lisbon, 2017
- Mural at Duplex A86, for Lasco Project #5 at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2016
The works’ striking colour schemes are both retro and futuristic: they combine flat, monochrome geometry that looks like early video games with multicoloured neons which burst from their surfaces in a spectrum of colour. His 3D works have a simple and sharp design that echoes Minimalist sculpture while retaining a loud hyperactivity reminiscent of 80s Synth Pop, noughties Emo, and Scene Kid subcultures. Repetitious grids, metallic lightning bolts, vacillating tubes, checkerboards, and gradients that look like Photoshop’s colour selector all recur throughout Pantone’s oeuvre: a visualisation of digital aesthetics, new and old.
Pantone is not only influenced by technology; he also incorporates it into the creative process of his work. His 2018 online project, Configurable Art, reshapes the relationships between art, artist, technology, and viewer by enabling the viewer to “build your own” artwork. On the website, configurableart.com, a sidebar holds a vast selection of Pantone’s designs including his trademark blurry pixels, rigid black and white patterns, and hypnotic stripes.
The user is able to drag and drop these elements to create their own unique compositions, of which there are infinite possibilities. By transforming viewers into creators, Pantone destabilises a singular artist-artwork relationship and creates a platform for collaboration powered by technology. This act of democratisation, suggestive of the internet’s liberation of information, releases the role of artist to the viewer and offers Pantone’s practice to the many.
Movement is an omnipresent force in Pantone’s practice. While most of his 2D works are hand-painted, the fuzzy edges and dissolving rainbow hues have a sense of speed as if frozen mid-motion. The faded, almost translucent compositions of Pantone’s hanging mobiles glide through the air and look like they could vaporise or dissolve in the same instant. Murals such as Chromadynamica for Monterrey and Broome & Elizabeth NY, despite being painted on ultra-large scale, evoke the relentless transience of our phone screens.
Dizzying clusters of vertical and horizontal stripes recall the endless downward scroll of a newsfeed and the left and right swipes of a shameless Friday night Tinder-binge. In a powerful study of our ever-changing world, Pantone’s oeuvre is locked in constant motion: a relentless shift between time and technology, monochrome and technicolour.
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