predominant themes and concepts I explore in my
work are history, aging and the passing of time.
Each of the series presented explores these themes
in various ways.
This new series of digitally
created portraits are an exploration of these
themes applied to the realm of digital video and
time based source material.
With digital video clips, there are various ways
a computer can compress them for size and picture
quality. By exploiting certain aspects of the
compression process, I have applied a technique
that essentially fools the computer into moving
the pixels of one video clip in the manner intended
for a different, unrelated clip. This creates
a new distinct and unified combination of the
two wherein the properties of both clips are fused
By then combining individual frames from several
of these altered video clips into one still image,
the end result is a combination of multiple moments
in time being represented simultaneously.
The final pieces are archival pigment prints that
are strikingly painterly in their portrayal of
cubist notions of space as well as a visual representation
of Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity
and it’s unifying of space and time.
LES DEMOISELLES D'AVIGNON STATEMENT
With this series, "Les
Demoiselles d’Avignon", I am exploring
these same themes and concepts and how they can
be applied to an image in the digital realm.
I began with a picture of Pablo Picasso's painting
"Les Demoiselles d'Avignon”. The idea
was to create a painting that was "aged"
digitally. By this I do not mean attempting to
create what one would imagine a painting or object
to look like after it has been aged over time.
Rather, I mean aging as being the application
of destructive forces to an object or image over
and over again.
When an object is aged, it has been subjected
to repetitive, minor destructive forces over an
extended period of time; for example, the slow
staining of a wall from drips or the rusting of
a piece of metal. With a digital image, there
are many "destructive" forces that can
be applied to cause the image to lose information.
With the first painting in the series, I shrank
the image down to 1% of its size, and then blew
it back up again. When this happens, the computer
has to interpret what information to fill in the
empty space created between pixels when it is
blown back up again. In the other paintings in
the series, I applied different ways of “aging”
the image, causing the computer to have to make
Applying any of these destructive actions once
or even a few times does not alter the image substantially.
But when applied hundreds of times, the image
loses more and more information to the point where
it becomes virtually unrecognizable. Applying
this digitally destructive force over and over
again is the digital equivalent of an object that
has been subjected to the elements over many years.
After the image was created in Photoshop, I painted
it in oil on canvas roughly 8 feet square, the
same size as the original Picasso painting. By
repainting this "digitally" aged image,
a strange alternate version of the painting is
created. Rather than a painting that has been
ripped, stained or discolored over time, the paintings
are images that have been aged in the context
of the digital realm.
In the Gowanus and Metal series, I am exploring
the process and history of the painting, both
aesthetically and intellectually. The work is
about external forces acting upon an object over
time and inherently documenting these changes.
However, they are not solely about the passing
of time, but rather they are a record of the accumulation
of these destructive forces.
The paintings are large works in oil and sand
on canvas, with textured, wall-like surfaces.
They are built up over time by both constructive
and destructive processes. Layers and washes of
paint are added and partially removed over and
over again in much the same way a wall or other
surface ages over time.
With the Metal series, I have been exploring this
concept further by treating pieces of metal with
different chemicals. The pieces are made by a
repetitive process of applying these chemicals
in a manner that changes the color and physical
properties of the metal. Other chemicals are then
applied to partially remove these effects; thereby
creating a new surface that still contains traces
of previous states. Having previously created
paintings that have the appearance of being aged,
led to the exploration of different ways of creating
work that does not just have the look of aging,
but rather is actually physically changed.
While visually beautiful, the work also clearly
demonstrates the conceptual effects of history
and the passage of time. It is important that
these paintings and works on metal have been made
by repeatedly applying constructive and destructive
forces over and over again, making them both something
that exists in its present state while still bearing
reminders of its past.