These drawings investigate the practice of forcing the viewer to physically change position in order to gain knowledge about the piece. A new image and composition can be gathered by the viewer when changing the perspective that they view the images from. In short, this piece is intentionally altering the viewers place in relation to the images.
Stock photograph portraits reside as the subject because of the static nature of these images. There is very minimal interaction with the viewer in stock portraits and this idea has been utilized as a contrasting point when coupling it with the fact that in the created images you are forced to interact in order to truly see the stock image. When the viewer looks straight forward from in front of the picture planes they see a smudged, smeared, and stretched image that is not entirely recognizable. However, when the viewer steps to the side to look, views from an angle, or looks up at the plane while laying directly on the floor below one of the paintings they will gain a new view and unlock the actual image being presented.
The three images are created digitally entirely in Photoshop. There, they are composed similarly to an oil painting: using a series of marks done on one digital “layer” while building up traditional layers of color, line, and value. There is an attempt at replicating the physical nature of a traditional painting by mounting the printed digital painting on a wood board and cradling it to appear to have depth similar to a stretched canvas. While it can create a visually similar product, a digital painting remains merely a simulation of traditional painting. It lacks the texture, depth, and weight of a painting on stretched canvas and also loses the natural aspect involved in the process of creating an oil painting.
Parallels can be drawn between this digital painting process that is featured in this piece and the ideas that have been presented in regards to the stock image portraits. Both are attempting to be something they are not. This piece highlights that interaction, or lack thereof, between the simulated image and the authentic viewer.
This drawing is an investigation of the uncanny, specifically in relation to human identity and recognition. The inspiration for this piece comes from two places. From one end I was intrigued by the social ineptitude of occasionally hilarious contemporary automatons and androids. The scientific works of Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro and Cynthia Breazeal are great examples and astounding in their own right. On the other end I am pushed by common stock and corporate photos depicting humans. These two areas cross paths in their often creepy and comical attempts to be simulate human. I strove to represent this intersection in this piece.
The subject of these drawings is a nod towards traditional portrait, however I’ve included an influence of redundant and hollow stock and corporate photos. I’ve taken common, but seemingly empty, gestured figures and manipulated their facial features to provide a humorous, but off-putting, sensation for the viewer. The figures faces appear flat, lifeless, and sub-human. This is a direct nod towards both humanoid robots and human depictions in the stock photos.
This drawing consists of four separate images, all of the same dimensions, displayed as on piece with two vertical and two horizontal. This was an attempt to display the subject as attempting to be dynamic and full of action and life (or lack there of). I’ve used blue ball-point pen to create the line and form in this piece. On one hand this is because this tool is an everyday item. Another side of the choice was due to the precision is can provide in mark making. I liked this because it lent itself to the lifelessness and static characteristics of the subject. The thin lines that create this image pull the viewer closer to the picture plane, only then they do realize that each mark is somewhat a coldly calculated decision reminiscent of the uncanny figures that they create.
1) Create drawings based upon the information given from a high resolution photo of my own iris. Attempting to decode the data of my own iris, translating this information into a 2D image. If the scale is large enough and the photo is cropped or sectioned into multiple pieces the result would likely be read by the viewer as an abstracted or nonrepresentational image. This would be an investigation of recognition through eyes. Inspiration for this piece was drawn from the ideas behind iris or retina recognition and the future of identification and security.
a) Exploring identity through the preventing recognition of the human face. I would take portrait photographs and manipulate and distort them through a computer program. I would then create a painting of each portrait in it’s now abstract and non-representational form. Inspired by the condition referred to as face blindness.
b) Another route that this idea could take is inspired by uncanny valley. Basically, I would only distort the portraits a slight amount, i.e. manipulating the eyes slightly, or elongating the face. I would then attempt to create a photo-realistic drawing based upon the new distorted portrait.
3) Investigate popular portrayal of individuals through posed (stock) portraits of “identity thieves” or computer hackers. I’d like to take these images and create dramatic drawings or paintings based upon their generalized and comical depictions. Basically, I’d like to use these images to comment on generic and lazy depictions of certain individuals.
Duane Hanson Tourists
Form: Life-size sculptures of two human figures dressed in tourist attire that appear to be viewing the gallery they are placed in.
Content: The artist creates this hyper-realistic sculptures and places them as if they are actually guests in the gallery, in which case the viewers could easily see them as fellow viewers instead of the actual art.
Process: While this artists work is largely about the finished result and the viewers reaction to it, the artist does go through painstaking detail to create these sculptures.
Why? Hanson makes his own works identity blend completely in with it’s surroundings and it’s viewer while making a comment about the viewers own identity.
Evan Penny Self Stretch
Form: Sculpture of a human bust distorted but still recognizable.
Content: The artist takes a traditional form of art in sculpture, and creates an object that is both hyper realistic and representational to the viewer but still distorted and abstracted.
Process: The artist may have used an image manipulation program to do a simple stretch or bend of the 2D photograph, then he bases his sculpture off of that.
Roland Mueck Mask II
Form: Large scale sculpture of the (presumably the artists) head.
Content: The artist does not present this as a self portrait, but takes his own face and blows it up into a vastly larger than life scale. He lays it on it’s side and puts it on a pedestal. This piece plays a lot with scale and providing unfamiliar size of the subject.
Process: This was likely a plaster cast or mold of his own face, taken and recreated in a large scale by the artist. There is extreme detail throughout the piece, and much attention was paid to create a life-like presentation.
Why? Mueck takes objects we are familiar with and changes their scale to surprise the viewer.
Form: Large scale portrait of a human face.
Content: The artist takes the traditional imagery of a portrait and breaks it into being composed of abstract and non-representational marks. The image is photorealistic when viewed as a whole, but in detail you see the abstraction.
Process: These large scale paintings are likely treated as abstract, color and shape relationships by the artist. Which, in a way, speaks with the academic part of creating a painting.
Why? Close has taken portrait and made it not about identity but about color and shape.
Jeff Koons Gagosian
Form: Large scale, brightly colored, reflective steel balloon animals.
Content:The artist is himself a businessman, and treats his art as a business module. He takes these balloon animals, an object that is both seen as fun and often given away by clowns to children, and creates fine art with this subject. He makes large sums of money off of each of these.
Process: These pieces were created by Koons employees, a nod to Warhol and art fabrication.
Why? Essentially Koons has used his own identity as a business specialist to make decisions with his art.