Early Research for Painting Appropriation

Posted: June 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm

I’ve been thinking through the gargantuan task of deciding what 4 images from the whole history of painting I should appropriate in this project. The general focus of my practise as an image-maker is on the relation between images and reality or interiority; this project should reflect that. I have in mind a trajectory of abstraction starting with the mathematical effort of objective representation in the Renaissance and ending with abstraction and problematizations of realism in painting. Since the Zombie Formalism project will focus in particular on post-painterly abstraction and colour-field painting, I was thinking about the four painting sample as including two works from the Renaissance (perhaps early and late), one surrealist, and one cubist work. I’ve been thinking in a very top down way by considering first the movement, then the painter and eventually narrow things down to the painting. (more…)

Early sketches appropriating (consuming) paintings from the western canon.

Posted: May 18, 2018 at 12:43 pm

In addition to the “Zombie Formalist”, this new body of work includes a series of works that appropriate the painting canon. Images are deconstructed into individual pixels that are recomposed using machine learning methods such as the Self-Organizing Map (SOM) that arranges pixels according to colour similarity. The following images show the original painting along-side the SOM reconstruction.

“Lucca Madonna”, Jan van Eyck (1436)

“Palace of Windowed Rocks”, Yves Tanguy (1942)


Early “Zombie Formalist” Sketches

Posted: May 18, 2018 at 12:31 pm

This is my first post documenting my new body of work, “Machines of the Present Consume the Imagination of the Past”, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. The first couple months will be early research focus but I wanted to post the current sketches developed for the grant application.

A little background: the “Zombie Formalist” is a component of this body of work where a diptych of light-boxes will generate banal and satirical formalist images inspired by 1960s post-painterly abstractionists such as Gene David, Barnett Newman and Guido Molinari. Following is a selection of aesthetically successful images using an early sketch of a painting generator. All these images are composed of vertical stripes with random colour, position, width and blurring on a coloured ground.