Acrylic on paper
38 1/2 x 38 1/2 inches
As is sometimes the case with my pieces, the idea for this painting existed for a while before its creation and its creation was spurred by necessity in the form of an impending and topically perfect show. Specifically, the show was an America-themed show curated by my friend and fellow Atlanta artist Ben Goldman.
I feel really proud of this painting. It seems like a big step forward in various ways. I took time time to lay out the composition on a square in Photoshop, going so far as to use a Fibonacci spiral to place all the elements and activate as much space as possible without crowding the image. I laid out the grid for the island by hand with a ruler and a pencil, a process that easily took 2 1/2 hours even with a larger grid already in place (I had originally gridded the paper for a drawing of Scott Fahlman). I printed out a large version of the digital collage with large squares of each color on the side and mixed the colors as exactly as possible. I then painted in the image, color by color, in multiple layers. With no tape. No tape. Because masking is a pain in my ass and I'd rather do it by hand. It fits my aesthetic of the electronic fusing with the organic anyway.
I was pleasantly surprised when someone at the America show asked me where I'd gotten such a large print made. I was also pleased with their reaction at finding it was painted by hand.
This painting also feels like more of a progression in terms of how I am hoping to communicate without gross recourses to shallow nostalgia or kitsch, though this particular painting does have something to say about a more serious form of nostalgia and kitsch, i.e. of national trauma affecting perceptions of pre-trauma imagery, but also the way pre-trauma imagery functions now as a sort of dreamlike echo of a time we might all rather exist in.
I think I'm pretty old fashioned in many ways with my art practice and my intent as a visual communicator. I think pixelation is formally beautiful and has a lot to talk about with the history of painting, even the process of understanding any kind of painting whether representational or not. I also think game-like images have the ability to cover a wide range of art movements/schools/theories, often in a single image. They cover a lot of ground in a variety of topics, if presented properly.
It also has been a basically instant success in terms of popular reception through my flickr as well as being published by the kind folks at The Gay Gamer, Tiny Cartridge, and Game Scenes. Not to mention how it took off like a freaking bullet on tumblr!
Read more about "10048" by checking out my 10048 page on flickr.