Abbey Messmer

My latest work is obsessed with water.  A new underwater camera has allowed me to explore the world through a different lens.  Regardless, I have always been intrigued by  distortion, mutation, evolution and biology.  I love the way the distortion of water bring the image into a world that is dreamlike, unstable and sometimes psychedelic.  Similarly, I seek out old photographs and enjoy the effects of deterioration, aged technology and faded memories.

I think about perception and how our stories are manipulated by life experiences, our genetic code and other outside forces.  It is also fascinating that humans are a walking ecosystem with 90% of our cells being non-human microbes.  The microbes easily change our form and can turn us into entirely different beings at times.

The ocean is an ecosystem like the human body, filled with unbelievable and unknown organisms.  At the deepest parts of the ocean, there are surely creatures that humans know nothing about.  This water relates back to dreams for me, where anything is possible.

My paintings range from purely organic mutations of plants and animals to representational studies of figure or structures with surreal elements.  Sometimes those two intersect.