Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Studies for My Past Life as Yuri

over the past two weeks i have been trying to return to my artistic roots and also influence it with an impression from early in my life. the artistic root is that of drawing; specifically i am doing a sort of self portraiture in graphite. and by sort i mean that i am choosing to influence the portraits with early impressions on my personality. recently, my obsession of the EVA (or spacesuit) and all things cosmo- or astronautical has been a real focus for me. i have motives for a very grand experiment that i am not quite ready to unveil publicly, but a way that this obsession has manifested is that i started to make avatars for my online life using the famous space pioneers. the twist and art in this comes from my treatment of the images. i have been compositing pictures of myself into the photos. through the magic of computer imaging i become Yuri Gregarin, Alan Shepard, etc.

i started doing this to riff on how to let the impressions of the 'space race' effect my art work; it soon became obvious to me that i am very interested across much of my work in identity and role play. the composite photographs of my face in the role of astro-colonialist created a really interesting way for me to consider what i want to do with these 'heavy' influences. the creation of this alternate reality, also gave me an excellent focus when i have had to do demonstrations of digital manipulation in the class room. i could talk to the act of fakery as an art, an art exploring roleplay, identity, and personality. i developed a nice an extensive narrative of my shadowy past connected to the early ballastics history of Germany, the Soviet Space program, and eventually recruitment to the NASA program as i built sample images and websites to demo the software for my students.

the photoshopped images were excellent foils for this discussion and a pleasant way to riff as i mentioned before. i examined them with a critical sense over the last few weeks, i saw that the composites had a sort of distance and flatness in the digital form. they seemed to be conceptually flat and distant; and i wanted to manifest these ideas in the real world in a real way. really get on the stage if you will allow me to extend the the acting metaphor a bit more.

i saw that they need to be made of whole atoms, not just electrical traces on the medium, so i remade the composites once more by drawing them in graphite and larger than life. i consider these two as studies in this roleplay. i have ideas on how to bring even more life to the idea and images which i may share at a future date. i told a colleague that the drawings are making the fake into reality for me. it is a complex relationship/process between the tangible material (paper, graphite) and the oversized format. it brings a life to my fantasy land, my youthful desire to be a rocketman.

Study for My Past Life as Yuri(Number 0001) 2010 Graphite on paper. 36x25 inches.
Study for My Past Life as Yuri(Number 0001) 2010 Graphite on paper. 36x25 inches.

Study for My Past Life as Yuri(Number 0001) 2010 Graphite on paper. 36x25 inches.

Study for My Past Life as Yuri(Number 0002) 2010 Graphite on paper. 35x34 inches.

1 comment:

  1. Maria says that you do look like a cosmonaut.