Vanessa McKnight creates psychodramas in paint. Her masterfully executed photo realist style is inspired by classic cinema. The light in her paintings imitate that of projected film, which is by its very nature hypnotic and flickering with perpetual distortion, while the close cropping and dramatic clipped imagery conjure the experience of the wide screen.
McKnight paints her cinematic characters as alter egos and as a means to step into their worlds which she finds larger than life and more real and by projecting herself into their dramas, she finds catharsis. This projection of self onto media/movie characters is reflective of a national mindset and obsession with celebrities. We too as viewers see our own pathos reflected in her psychologically charged flickering images and find release.