Roxy Paine explores the relationship between natural and artificial worlds. Fascinated by the translation of natural or human-made systems (for example, robotics), he challenges the notion of control as defined by the human mind. Mycology occupies a central place in his production. Since the 1990s, Paine has studied various mushroom species, paying particular attention to the “systems” that regulate their existence and methods of growth, or to how a given species propagates its spores. This research has provided him with a set of “rules” that he applies to simulate natural phenomenon when fabricating his hyperreal mushroom sculptures. His other projects include Painting Machines, industrial engines that create unique artworks through a series of repetitive actions. This work underlines the paradoxes at the heart of contemporary culture and the tension that arises in the gap between chaos and control, the real and the fake.

Vertical Sequence 3, 2006, Polymer, oil, lacquer, wook and glass.
© Roxy Paine • Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay