Intentions and techniques may be various, but common for all artists using photography is their base in reality. Yet this reality loses its qualities as soon as it is put on canvas, and become a selective simulation of something real; a model.

Etienne Zack’s paintings are inspired by urban landscapes or moments from forgotten streets, industrial areas and dumpsters.

His paintings occur as slightly surrealistic tableaus, but they are still connected to the real world. Zack does neither photograph nor make sketches from the scenes, but makes the paintings based on memories from the places he has been. His paintings thereby reflect how our memory works; some details are photographically clear, some are diffuse, and some are completely abstract. With this technique the paintings do not become a narcissistic reproduction of reality. Instead, inspired by the artist’s observations, the paintings are models of distinct mental universes that are neither banal nor spectacular, but rather poetic and stimulating.

Etienne Zack (1976) lives and works in Vancouver, Canada, the same city where he in 2000 was examined from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

A clear tendency in the contemporary painting is the use of photography as a base for artistic expression. Generally, these photographies identify everyday places or happenings from urban or private surroundings.