DIGITAL FROSTING means that I am using digital manipulation to finish these constructed pieces. In my mind these fall into two categories INVIRONMENT (studio) and ENVIRONMENT. The INVIRONMENT shots while actually done outdoors are controlled with nothing other than my work. The ENVIRONMENT shots combine masks,skeletons, bodies and screens that I have made with natural or people-made environments. I use digital drawing, transform and colour tools in GIMP, an open source program. Using the “flip” tool, I can control a bit the chaos of many of the natural environments. Prints available at Artmajeur and at Saatchi.
PHOENIX ROBOT started with my mask, MECH-OWL shot on my painting, DETROIT. I used GIMP to create a body for the mask and then changed the colours of the painting.
The entire process uses what I call the response method. Letting the parts, masks, paintings tell me how they want to be assembled, placed and coloured. Other than knowing, in the case of the masks that I am making a mask–I’m not making abstract art–and, in the case of the final product, I will be adding something like a body to the mask, the process is without narration or representation. They emerge.
WATCHMAN moves a little further in the digital alterations than some earlier pieces. My mask, LAUGHING MAN, was the starting point. What has been an interesting discovery as I’ve used GIMP (an open source photo editor) is that making a mirror image often changes the feel of the mask. When I originally made LM and other masks, they were a specific character, but putting them on different backgrounds or making a symmetrical version (with further subtle variations of angle and width) has added a range of characters to that mask.
JUNCAR arrived as I worked with marrying mirror images of a photograph consisting of one of my masks shot on one of my paintings. This process increases/alters the feel of the original painting (in this case DETROIT) and can double the canvas size. I use the response method for all my work based on the 3 steps: Structure, Colour, Framing. In these double sized canvases, framing (cropping) becomes critical.
TIRE JUNGLE I have played with enlarging and re-colouring parts of our car dominated world for many years. The background painting is based on a tire tread pattern. OGROST is the mask. Though this mask fits well with a sort of African theme in this case. the mask itself came into being through the response process–letting the materials (recycled car parts) tell me what mask they want to become. I find the bagel like shapes of torque converters when cut up can create excellent components for creating the eye/cheek structures. These “eyes” along with the altered “mouth” part of an exhaust system were the directors of the structure. I used multiple layers of sanded paint to create a light coloured surface to highlight the rusted source parts.
Using GIMP (an open source photo editor) I increased the canvas area and created the body.
EVIL TWINS really came into focus when I explored the “invert” tool in GIMP (an open source photo editor) At that point, the song by THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, My Evil Twin may have influenced things.
I started with OGROST my mask made from recycled car parts shot on one of my paintings, CITIES WITHOUT CARS. Is there a theme here? Yes, I think there are far too many cars in the world. Anyway, I doubled the canvas size and the rest sort of fell into place.
Since I admire children’s art, I try to work through response rather then narration or representation–entirely subjective. I find much art to be way to “heady” for me.
An alternative title for AUTO DEMON could be, CAR HORN. The mask is DETROIT DEMON made from recycled car parts (the horn is s section of an exhaust system joint covering). The painting is called, DETROIT and is based on a tire tread pattern that I expanded becoming clouds in a night sky over a city (I like aerial photography). Using GIMP, I created a car for the horn and altered the background colours to reflect my concern that there are too many cars in the world.
AFRICAR is a hybrid digital artwork built on the recycled metal mask, UMBUNTU, the background sculpture AUTOPUDDLE and a painting RUNOVER/OVERRUN. I created each of these pieces using the response method–relying on response rather than a preconceived idea to develop the piece. The mask started with a shovel which I cut and flipped creating a basic face shape–car parts included roller bearings and an exhaust pipe. The sculpture is constructed entirely of clutch parts. though I started the sculpture responding to some particular clutch part, it eventually evolved into a woodland pool (in my mind–you can see the original at my website) Using a tire “font” I created, the words overrun and runover are inserted into the painting as well as the shapes of footprints representing the conflict between cars and pedestrians. After taking the photo of this arrangement, I digitally altered both the structure and the colours.