NATHANIEL ST. AMOUR

   This work is about finding meaning and purpose from the virtual world. Large modern contemporary video games ask the player to mentally reside within the worlds they create, to forsake reality. These can be fantastical, realistic, or dystopian, but each environment is compelling and immersive. Each game also shares the quality of making the player feel as if they have accomplished something worthwhile. This can take the form of saving a village from dragons, or saving the universe from invasion. They compress a lifetime of accomplishment into a single weekend.
    In contrast, the virtual world is also disappointing in its intangibility and promise of personal enlightenment. No matter how many dragons you slay or virtual rewards you win, life outside of the game stays the same. The gamers in my paintings are weary of their virtual achievements. Many are tired and pallid while simultaneously happy. They often exist within an idealized environment at odds with their inner turmoil. Their skin marks the time spent with the screen, while their bodies or scenes around them show the rewards they have received for their virtual efforts. Items like armor, treasure, and badges symbolize virtual accomplishment, while surrounding scenes show grateful villagers celebrating the player as a god-like figure.