Ilan Gutin is an interdisciplinary artist whose work consists of time-based video projections, sculptural installations, photography, and screen-printing. He is a native of Washington D.C. and graduated from the University of Maryland in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts and a concentration in printmaking. Upon graduating, he lived and taught abroad in Thailand and traveled the world extensively, using the experiences overseas to research and develop a better understanding of his studio practice. He helped develop a screen-printing department at VisArts Center in Rockville, Maryland, where he also taught numerous classes for two years before moving to Chicago. Ilan has shown work in Washington D.C. and Chicago, and was a finalist for the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Scholarship and Fellow Program in Spring 2013.

Experience at SAIC

My artistic practice stems from my interest in the ephemeral environment that exists all around us. While exploring this idea, I am creating a new order of perception based on my own personal vision, thus captivating the viewer. The mystery of the creation of my work compounds this experience because my process is not always fully revealed. Looking, then becomes a key component, and in the simple joy of looking, one has feelings of enchantment, contemplation, and even anxiety. The scale of the work amplifies our shifting gaze, and our bodily and intellectual responses to beauty. My explorations into these ideas demonstrate that the world's natural phenomena can produce a meaningful experience. The gaze, far from a guilty pleasure, allows the viewer to examine the re-creation of meaning through a path of desire and the wonder of looking.

In my work, the process is experimental, messy, and often a chance encounter. As a result, I am just as intrigued by what I can accomplish in my process through different mediums and the accidents that occur along the way as I am immersed in the central interests that drive my work. The fascination I have with my materials and how they interact with each other involves constant experimental techniques that yield unknown results such as screen-printed moiré patterns, unconventional photography, precarious sculptural installations and colorful light refractions. Giving up a sense of control, and letting the process take over allows me to be more spontaneous and carefree about my decisions. Imperfections that would typically be undesirable, serve to create important moments of humanity, and evidence of the hand into processes that can often lose that quality.

Minimalism and the philosophy of phenomenology – the way the body thinks through unmediated perception, rather than through reason and words, figure prominently in my work. This approach rewards viewers with an instantaneous, intuitive sense of presence, which beckons them to engage with the work. Most of my works do not function unless viewers actively participate with them. By engaging with them, the viewers become essential to the work's existence. It is important for the work to showcase how different changes in viewer's perception and position can create subtle but powerful changes within the work, as well as leave strong impressions on the viewer. My goal is to create work that provides a window into a new way of observing and perceiving our surroundings, while allowing the viewer to reflect on their own place in space.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.