Untitled Seascapes are themselves like the sea: beautiful and seemingly straightforward, yet beneath the waves there is remarkable complexity that forms what we see on the surface. Drawing on a series of Monet paintings for inspiration, this series explores our deeply-held desire to be the first to find a place, to experience a landscape untouched by others, to make it our own.
In the 1880s, Monet painted scenes of the sea at Etretat in Normandy, which had become a bustling seaside resort by then. In his paintings, Monet returned the landscape to an earlier time, removing most signs of man’s presence. Turning to this same landscape for her ocean vistas, I created a group of serene images, devoid of the clutter of modern-day tourism. Like Monet’s idealized landscapes that were created in the studio — often from photographs, I use Photoshop to paste together sections of sea and sky and erase beachfront hotels and tourist boats. The scenes are lush and striking, all what one would hope for in a perfect, unspoiled landscape. Yet there is something impossible about them; they are like paintings, constructed from imagination and desire rather than documents of what exists. The illusionary quality of them reminds us that however much we would like to find an unseen shore that we can call our own, someone has always been there before us.
— Justyna Badach, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA