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Artist Statement


noun - par·ei·do·lia \ˌper-ˌī-ˈdō-lē-ə, -ˈdōl-yə\
The tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual patternThe scientific explanation for some people is pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness. Think of the Rorschach inkblot test.

My work explores the phenomenon of pareidolia. The link between what the eyes deliver and what the brain constructs is a loose connection; we perceive images, intent, and patterns where none exist. The brain's ability to see what is not there yields a fundamental connection to the unknown, and touches the edge of what is possible in our perception. Pareidolia therefore raises doubts on all that we encounter visually. By emphasizing selected forms within random images, my work asks viewers to contend with the thin veil overlaying their understanding of what is real, and invites them to balance on the edge of where visual reality is formed by the mind.

“When you look at a wall spotted with stains, or with a mixture of stones ... you may discover a resemblance to various landscapes ... or, again, you may see battles and figures in action, or strange faces and costumes, or an endless variety of objects, which you could reduce to complete and well-drawn forms. And these appear on such walls promiscuously, like the sounds of bells in whose jangle you may find any name or word you choose to imagine.”
- Leonardo da Vinci

Artist Bio

Justin Auld was born and raised in Vermont and has been living and working in Portland since 2000. Art has always been an integral part of his identity. He has been creating drawings and paintings since he was able to hold a pencil. He received a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1996 and then gained proficiency in digital art from 6 years working as a professional graphic designer in Boston and Portland. In 2005 he earned an MFA in Studio Arts from Portland State University which led him to branch into many different forms of art including video, installation, and conceptual art. His work explores the connection between art and the brain’s tendency to find images in random patterns.


2005 | Portland State University | MFA in studio arts
1996 | Rhode Island School of Design | BFA in illustration

Exhibition History


2018 | Palio Cafe | Quantum Paintings
2018 | Beeswing Cafe | Quantum Paintings
2018 | Bridgeport Brewpub Heritage Room | Quantum Paintings
2017 | Gallery at the Jupiter | Quantum Paintings
2016 | Panacea Art Gallery | Quantum Paintings
2014 | East Side Exchange Art Gallery | Quantum Paintings
2013 | Water Avenue Commerce Center Gallery | Mixed Pastoral Work
2011 | Art Institute of Portland Art Gallery | Quantum Paintings
2011 | Bridgeport Brewery | Assorted Artwork
2010 | Vault Martini | Recent Quantum Paintings and Drawings (Jan-March 2010)
2009 | Bridgeport Brewery | Recent Quantum Paintings (Sept 10th - Oct 31st)
2009 | Common Grounds | Pastoral Paintings and Quantum Drawings
2009 | Vault Martini | Paint Chip Portraits
2007 | Art Institute of Portland Art Gallery | 144 Crayon Drawing show
2007 | Vault Martini | Recent Quantum Paintings and Drawings
2006 | Academy Theater | recent paintings and stills from video installation
2006 | City of Portland | Portland Collage project - citywide installation
2005 | MK Gallery at PSU | "choice" MFA Thesis show
2004 | Student Lounge, Art Building at PSU | "God project installation"
2001 | Stumptown coffee | recent paintings
2000 | Bitter End Pub | "Rusty Grommets & Abnormalities"


2018 | Ford Gallery | Wax Water Oil with Karl Kaiser
2017 | Portland Open Studio Tour
2015 | Big 500 Show | People's Gallery Pioneer Place
2015 | Portland Open Studio Tour
2014 | Portland Open Studio Tour
2013 | Portland Open Studio Tour
2009 | Autzen Gallery at PSU | "OUTLOOK" Currated by James Yood
2009 | Art Institute of Portland Art Gallery | Currated "It's the Little Things"
2008 | Grand Central Building | Video group show
2006 | Art Institute of Portland Art Gallery | Faculty show | Juror's choice award
2006 | Center Space Gallery | "Creatures" w/ Kelly Kallicoat
2005 | Dean's Gallery at PSU | Faculty and MFA sculpture
2004 | Autzen Gallery at PSU | "Dialogue" Joint show with South Korea
2004 | VU Gallery Western Washington University | "Monsters"
2004 | Art Institute of Portland Art Gallery | Faculty show
2004 | Autzen Gallery at PSU | "Slices" MFA 1st year group show
2003 | Art Institute of Portland Art Gallery | "The Winter Exhibit"