Room 6: PHOTOSHOP

It has become obvious that my plan to post every week was way too ambitious. There’s too much work, and travel, interfering. So I continue at a slower pace. I was in Belgium recently. In Antwerp I saw a great Kiefer show in the Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) whose halls were filled with giant works that filled me with awe, admiration and sensuous pleasure. What a great artist.


Back in New York I see that a new big Kiefer show is opening at the Gagosian gallery.

Kiefer at the Gagosian

I’ll go see it next week. Meanwhile, I have covered the new Tuymans show at the David Zwirner gallery:

http://salonvansisyphus.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/luc-tuymans-incorporated/

Tuymans: Speech 2010

I can also recommend a great show not far from where I live, by Steve Foust, a talented sculptor with whom I exhibited twice, and Nancy Bonior.

For this post, I was planning to continue where I left off in the last one, and explore some of the paths that I’ve taken in my three-dimensional work. But now I feel like showing something else entirely. That’s the beauty of a blog, you’re bound by no other rules but your own. And my rules are very few.

So I want to show a few examples of images that I created on the computer with photoshop, maybe because I just finished one.  At first sight this seems the complete opposite of the work I showed so far on this blog, in which the physical presence of the art, its materiality, is central: with photoshop, you work with intangible dots and the result is, in theory, endlessly reproducible. The advantages are obvious: you don’t get dirty, there are no bad smells, it’s easy to make changes, it’s easy to undo changes, the possibilities are litterally endless. It’s not immaterial of course. The work is only finished when the image is printed. I usually add some changes on the print with ink, crayon or other media so each print ends up being pretty much unique. I offer these for sale, so far rather cheaply. If you’re interested send me an email.

Still, this work is flat compared to the work I’ve shown so far. Yet there are some similarities: the themes of decay and regeneration, of endless change and its richness, beauty and horror, of losing and finding, of fear and alienation, of the need to revolt. Also, the basic approach in both is the same: collage. Fitting things that already exist together in such a way that their meaning changes. That was already my approach early on but I started making collages on a regular basis in the late 1980, mostly as a form of relief from journalistic work. I will show some examples later. I made those with scissors and glue but became increasingly interested in the materiality of paper, the changes that ocurred when I mistreated it. After that, other changes became possible so the collage ended as a quite material multimedia-object.

But of course I moved on to photoshop. The ease of taking an image from a photograph I made or found on the web, compared to cutting and pasting, made it irresistable. That plus all the other possibilities.

The sources of the images used in the following examples are my own digital photos, images taken from the web, and some of my drawings and paintings, scanned or photographed. It was not easy to make a selection and the following one is a bit arbitrary, according to my mood of the moment. Later, I will take you on some different pathways I followed in this field. It goes without saying that the images here are low-resolution, not showing the detail visible in the high-resolution images used for printing.
“Stop!” (8X 15 1/2 inches) 2010

“Encounters” (9 1/2 x 14 inches) 2007

“Foam” (10 by 7 1/2 inches) 2006

“Beached” (9 x 6 inches) 2007

“lab” (10 x 7 1/2 inches) 2005 (You may recognize images from Abu Graib in this one)

“Masks” (7 x 10 1/2″)  2008

“Life is stupid” (10 x 7 1/2″)

“Red Scream” (8 x 16 1/2) 2010.

By the way, my European friends, one inch equals  2,5 centimeters.

To be continued.


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