Changing Times

“People in motion are wonderful to photograph. It means catching the right moment… when one thing changes into something else.”

– Andres Kertesz

Andre Kertesz was a Hungarian photographer who pioneered photojournalism in the early 20th century but whose work also intersected in various ways with some of the modernist painters in Paris in the 20s and 30s who I am currently reading about. He became friends with and took portraits of many of these painters, including Mondrian, Chagall and Calder. He did an interesting series of nudes with two women posed in a house of mirrors called Distortion – in some of them you can only see random limbs. Maybe he would have found this series I am doing of interest (how’s that for artistic hubris?).

I’ve been creating a set of small abstract paintings using Sumi ink and gesso and then integrating them into recent photographs from a modeling session. One thing is changing into something else, but which is the thing changing?

I like mixing the spontaneity that this type of photography demands with the equally spontaneous techniques I use when doing these small paintings – pouring, splattering, scraping, stamping, etc. Then I play with different combinations, looking for those that complement each other.

3 responses to “Changing Times

  1. A great piece again, I love this series.
    Because of the movement and of the combination of photo and painting techniques. I had myself a deep pleasure in combining both, using at the end the computer to merge one into the other. I especially loved the contrast between painting and digital treatment, one totally material, the other totally immaterial (kind of! at least this is the impression one gets!). It gives the feeling of a continuous connection between real and digital worlds, a flowing from one into the another one and back and forth …
    By the way I would say that the way computer nowadays are integrated in our daily life, this art is representative for Modern Art!
    Does this kind of art have already a name?

  2. Miki

    I understand your comment about the “immateriality” of digital work. One of the reasons I started painting years ago is that I missed the hands on craft quality that you used to get in a traditional darkroom. On the computer, it is all so “distant”.

    Now, of course, it’s possible to really go in circles – I can make a painting, bring it into the computer and do some work on it, then print it out on watercolor paper or canvas, do some more painting on it and, if I wanted, I could repeat this cycle. One of the advantages is that you can print a painting larger than the original, which sometimes can be very useful.

    I don’t know if there is a name for this work. I would prefer to call it “mixed media” which is today’s catch-all term for anything that doesn’t fit into a neat category. Some call it “digital art” but I find the general public has a bad association with that term.

  3. Well, I think “Digital art” is something else. I don’t believe that it includes normal painting.
    I don’t like so much the term “mixed media”, and always try to avoid it for my stuff, in fact for the same reason as you avoid “digital art”: everybody does “mixed media” nowadays, and puts anything under this word. I find it does not mean anything more… it is too general.
    I would love to find a great name for such a technique which involves photography, painting and computer. It is much more than the classical mixed media, somehow… it connects two really different worlds (one material, the other immaterial), and this is what fascinates me.

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