10. Janine Portal: Symbolic Dimensionality

Symbolic Synergy explores the elements of Symbolism with Dimensionality, as exemplified by the work of Janine Portal.

Review of work by Janine Portal10. Dimensionality

Controlling visual space is no spontaneous accident, even if it looks casual and unintentional.  It a very deliberate craft. Beyond making illusionary three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional medium, dimension also defines orientation. Where is the viewer? Is this a close, intimate space, or viewed from a distance? Might ambiguity be part of the message, or even the point of the message? There is often a relationship, even a mirror, between the macro and the micro. Many artists reflect various forms of reality by exploring these connections. Dimensionality also intensifies contrast, juxtaposition, exaggeration, and enigma. It turns up the heat on drama. But even for those works stripped of conventional techniques of dimensionality, perhaps made intentionally to be flat, it is done with the intention of increasing visual impact.

“Untitled” by Janine PortalJanine Portal pushes two dimensional space as far as she can without being classified as a ‘three dimensional’ artist. Such a distinction may not mean much to the viewer, but it means a lot to the classification of the work itself. Janine extends the illusion of space by adding levels that shift when the viewer changes from one viewing position to another. This technique, along with fragmentation and a consistent color sense, ties Janine’s work together. Some of the image levels are so subtle, only lighting changes can reveal them. Dimensions are used to hide and reveal, to show that experience is always interpreted differently from other vantage points, and that there is always more than one explanation for what is seen, or not seen. In many of her works, the individual figure, usually a silhouette, is consumed by an environment. They a have direction though, as they climb stairs or traverse tunnels. They have a purpose and a direction, no matter how complex. Offering an inherent architecture of construction, Janine’s images evoke an urban artificiality against an organic underpinning.

Also please see review of other work by Janine Portal in Sim Street Journal #7.

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QUICK LINKS:
INDEX for all contributors and articles
Sim Street Journal #1: Virtual Reveals Real
Sim Street Journal #2: The Old in the New
Sim Street Journal #3: Magicians of Meaning
Sim Street Journal #4: Telling Stories
Sim Street Journal #5: Champions of Expression
Sim Street Journal #6: Overlapping Realities
Sim Street Journal #7: Luck Created
Sim Street Journal #8: Facing the Inevitable
Sim Street Journal #9: Motivated Learning
Sim Street Journal #10: Serious Fun
Sim Street Journal #11: Fantasy Fulfillment
Sim Street Journal #12: Insights from Extremes
Sim Street Journal #13: Bridging Boundaries
Sim Street Journal #14Realities Blend
Sim Street Journal #15: Creative Collaborations
Sim Street Journal #16: Visual Music

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