showing the creation of
Stranger 2 (Screen Study)
My works derive from images, both in contextualisation and in their production. I start by finding and collating bodies of images, whether they be my own or those I have found.
More recently, I have started working with appropriated, digital images from digital platforms intended to sere as inspiration for artists. In a world where interaction has become confined to the screen, and where we have become accustomed to seeing through it, this decision felt essential.
The notion of the screen is the most fundamental foundation to my work. The digital screen is an active entity - it reacts, it transforms, and it visually impacts the viewer. Due to these features, the screen mutates images displayed on the screen - it transfers a blue, solarised hue onto the image.
MOVING TO PAINT
My process then undergoes a change. Moving from image to paint, I begin the process of producing a painting from the mutated image displayed on my screen.
Working to meet a desire for representation, this process is meticulous in my portrait paintings. The technical process of translating a digital and distorted image on the screen onto the canvas allows me to engage thoroughly with my chosen image.
The drawing allows for the final work to be attributed more literally and more contextually to the original image.
When it then comes to starting applying the paint, the precision for representation becomes united with an appreciation for the physicality of the medium.
Referring to the image displayed on my computer screen, turning it to alternate perspectives to reveal the solarised effect, I start to apply the paint. Constantly 'copying' from the image on my screen has resulting in my naming my paintings Screen Studies.
Working with reference to photographic concepts of light, specifically to chiaroscuro, I apply the paint, working in ascending order from whites to blacks. This allows for a smoother, more blended painterly surface to be created. As such, the painting becomes more visually synonymous with a photographic image. Therefore, the work radiates a tension regarding its location within contemporary art discourse.
The original drawing allows me to maintain the intricacies of my reference images. This process is quite time-consuming and technical. However, during the painting, I allow myself to engage in the process. I work to achieve a likeness within the original image that extends beyond the accuracy of the form.
Applying unrefined, more abstract brushstrokes initially, before employing techniques of blending, stippling, and buffing, allows me to work more organically. This allows me to make as well as mend mistakes during the painting process, which become essential to the creation of the finished work.
The final, and perhaps most exciting technique, is the devotion to incorporating the final details. It is also the most influential aspect in the creation of my paintings.
Looking to my computer screen, I focus on the more intricate components of the image. This is achieved across analysing the two realities of my reference image - the reality of the image itself and the reality of the screen.
The finishing touch is the application of the varnish. Using a gloss varnish over the finished painting further references the digital image, as well as the computer screen. The varnish produces a reflective surface on top of the painted surface. These reflective qualities are consistent with the active quality of the digital screen.
STRANGER 1 (SCREEN STUDY)