Christina Nicodema lives and works in Long Island City, New York, having graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2009. Prior to becoming a painter, she worked for nearly a decade as a set designer and art director for animated films and television and is an undefeated amateur boxer. All of these influences are highly present in both her subject matter and working process.
Her paintings explore the schisms of the food chain that all life participates in. They challenge the impossibility of reconciling the opposing notions of violence and empathy by detailing the endless cycle of dominance and submission present throughout all species and cultures. Exploiting the millennial lens and the language of a digitally native generation, Nicodema uses the history of painting as both a transcript of western civilization and an index of the gentrification of horror, addiction and anxiety.
Her compositions begin with the internet and its continual churn of imagery as both palette and medium. By collapsing high and low aspects of art history, image resolution and painting techniques, she questions the relevance of linear time amidst the overload of endlessly stacked information. She digitally compiles her themes, narratives and abstractions from image search queries to explore a more primal aspect of western culture; violence and survival as it has been gentrified throughout the history of painting. Her works travel up and down the food chain exposing the mental divide between the familial desire to nurture and the horror of instinctual maternal violence. Employing the subtext of comfort and control, deprivation and reward she explores food as a source of deep emotion, hierarchy and ultimately dominance. She uses paint and color to both destroy her underpainting and to reconstitute her references into a dreamlike stream of consciousness that collapses the distinction between the historical past and the contemporary moment.