Tuesday, November 09, 2010
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.