blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


ADAPTATION SYNDROME  |  Painting in Contemporary Image Culture

Vincent Szarek

 Flaming Flag, 2004
 Urethane on fiberglass, 42" x 21"
 Visual Arts Center of Richmond
 Courtesy Fusebox , Washington , DC

Growing up with a fascination for the culture of automobile racing and custom cars, Vincent Szarek skillfully plays with image icons that have pop-culture cachet. Using the techniques of custom automotive fabrication, which include digital manipulation, his gleaming paintings have the allure and packaging of cars without their functionality, thus drawing attention to what seduces us on the surface.

Like the other artists in Adaptation Syndrome, Szarek doesn’t redeem or transform this seduction. He simply puts a spotlight on what is already there and, with a critically informed yet playful approach, extends its meaning and painting’s