Anna Taggart

Eros, 2021

Acrylic and oil on canvas
24 x 24 inches

Agape, 2021

Acrylic on canvas
24 x 24 inches

Love, Typed, 2021-2022

Top row, left to right: Agape, Eros, Philia
Bottom row, left to right: Pragma, Mania
Acrylic and oil on canvas
24 x 24 inches

Love, Typed, 2022

Left to right: Philia, Ludus
Acrylic and oil on canvas
24 x 24 inches

Various paintings and doodles, 2021 - 2022

Mixed media
Various sizes

Love, decoded #1, 2022

Silkscreen and pen drawing on paper
18 x 12 inches

Love, decoded #2, 2022

Silkscreen on paper
18 x 12 inches

Stills from Where is Love?, 2022

Video projection

Artist Statement

The overarching themes of my recent work have been human vs. the machine and subjectivity v. objectivity. I have been working collaboratively with artificial intelligence to explore the underlying systems at play in both the human and artificial mind. With human love as the subject matter, I am currently experimenting with the ways that feelings are translated into visual language. More specifically, I am dissecting these abstract concepts—these affects—and breaking them down into visual representations: through words, symbols, and art. I am currently relaying these representations through the media of painting and video projection.

I am drawing from the Greek philosophical definitions of love (eros, agape, storge, pragma, philia, etc.) as a linguistic framework to organize the different experiences of human love into six separate, yet interconnected paintings. Instead of immediately painting my own ideas and subjective experiences onto the canvases, I have been inputting these terms into an text-to-image AI algorithm that essentially “paints” it for me. This algorithm crowdsources and collages images available on mass media and consequently produces a relevant, astonishingly surreal final image. In a sense, I am pulling from the collective unconscious and exploring how hyperreality—in which the simulation of reality becomes more saturated and “real” than reality itself—can erase the things that give our lives meaning. In tandem with the painting series, I am developing a projection of a video in which I am using the command+F shortcut to “find” the different types of love within HTML source code. This brings a direct technological facet of the project that expands upon this notion of looking for love within confusing, deeply coded language.