Jeff Elrod is an American abstract painter who employs both digital and analog processes to create his work. Using Photoshop and other drawing programs he draws and reworks imagery that he then renders on canvas; often by hand, using acrylic paints, tape, and air-brush. He also prints his computer generated images directly onto canvas. Elrod advances an argument that is committed to the formal values of painting while inserting an unsettling psychological undertow to his imagery.
Elrod began painting abstractions inspired by super graphics and video game imagery in the early 1990s. In 1997, as a means to distance himself from his conscious mind, he began to use the computer to facilitate paintings through a technique he calls “frictionless drawing.” The computer allows for the production of lines and color fields without the direct intervention of the artist’s hand, thus allowing him the freedom to experiment and engage in “a digital breed of automatic writing.” In a body of work inspired by artist and poet Brion Gysin’s “dream machine” project, he evokes the hallucinatory effects intended by Gysin’s machine by processing his original drawings into blurred images to create all over fields of colored soft cloud like forms that resist focus.
Vito Schnabel Gallery presented a solo exhibition of Elrod’s work in December 2016, titled Figment, with all new Blur paintings. A catalogue with an essay by Joachim Pissarro was published on the occasion of the exhibition. Elrod’s work was also included in a group show at the gallery, The Age of Ambiguity: Abstract Figuration / Figurative Abstraction, curated by Bob Colacello, in January 2017.
Jeff Elrod was born in Dallas, Texas in 1966. His work has been presented at MoMA PS1, Long Island City; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield; Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Florida; and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City. His paintings are in many public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of Amer-ican Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection in Washington D.C.
Elrod lives and works in Marfa, Texas and New York.