It’s all about seeing, isn’t it?
Having lived with art since I was a child, I’ve always played with the idea of doing photography with reference to the art I cherish. Since 1969, I have looked at Roy Lichtenstein’s 6-piece Cathedral Series from that year which were based on Claude Monet’s Rouen Cathedral paintings in the 1890s.
This is about my latest edition, the Rouen Cathedral Suite #1-10.
Gemini GEL, one of the finest graphic printing houses in the world, printed them. They look like screens, newspaper-like and “pop” where the Cathedral image – with the colours expressing the light as it changes over a day – was hidden under (or in) tons of small round holes.
One has to see them at a 3-4 meters distance to at all see anything but dots. And they were faily big, 122 cm high.
Here is one of them.
And who would not love to have owned one of Claude Monet’s originals? Like this one?
So why do I find this fun, interesting and challenging?
I believe that art is as much about seeing as about what you see. Here is an entrance to a cathedral which, thanks to one of art history’s greatest, has become immortalized. I have always loved Roy Lichtenstein’s series, his truly innovative idea, his re-working of classical art and his ways of making us see – as he also does in, say, the Bull Series and Monet’s Haystacks.
In a way he applied filters and reproduced/re-created great pieces adapted to contemporary printing techniques. I stole the basic idea and asked myself: What if I do the same using Photoshop?
So I took down a photo of one of Monet’s original paintings from the Internet and began to play with it. I played with shapes, filters, light, contrast, saturation, colouration/tones, contrasts, sharpening/blurring and I changed things here and there, pixel by pixel so to say. There were many many more than the 10 I finally selected.
You may think it looks like just some haphazard re-production. It isn’t. It’s a carefully processed experimenting with literally hundreds of variables in each of the suite’s ten pieces.
Here is how they appear on the wall in my studio at the time of writing:
To the left you see one of the original Lichtenstein and then my A2 format prints on fine art Canson Edition Etching Rag papers. Lichtenstein cropped the original portal, my picture is a based on the full image of the portal that Monet painted.
I guess that Continue reading
This is the second article about SCOPE in Basel, June 2014, the first here. And among the artists I’d like to introduce to you here is Patrick Tschudi who lives and works in Lima, Peru. At first his works may appear flat and cool, all the people have a round black head and colour is applied very sparsely and never mixed. They are C-Prints in limited editions.
At the same time there is something touching about them.
It seems that he is occupied with the role of individual human beings in cities and other spaces where there are masses of people, strangers. The black ball heads are not necessarily a sign of de-humanization but, perhaps, more a way of saying that while we are all individuals we are all exactly that: human beings who don’t have to feel alone but may enter into relationships because of what we all share as human beings?
I find the two people on the bench overlooking a harbour with that huge industrial complex and bridge far away quite moving although I don’t see any obvious attempt to appeal to the spectator’s emotions in Tschudi’s work.
You may see many more on his homepage. The various series and categories have titles such as “believers”, “nowhereland” and “signs”. Perhaps I am attracted to these prints because they are so clearly affiliated with photography.
I have no idea how Tschudi goes about creating them but the point of departure could be a photograph which is processed or, rather, re-created in Photoshop. But that’s just speculation.
What is also interesting is the attempt to reduce everything to its pure forms. His images of everyday activities are reduced to shapes, there are no details. There is a kind of haiku quality to Tschudi’s works also in the sense that they are not supposed to convey any emotions. They are factual and you may put whatever “meaning” into them you like, if any.
Here are two such works from his homepage.
Oh, simplicity and sophistication in one! Continue reading