Electric Painting 3

2017 >>>------------------------------------------------------------>>> Electric Painting 2 >>>------------------------------------------------------------>>> Electric Painting 1 >>> 2016

"The importance of specific modes of perception and ways of thinking is often overlooked as the work itself is held to be more important, however, the work itself is increasingly defined in relation to the means by which it is primarily encountered."


This work is about edges and representation. The edges of aesthetic planes such as canvases and photographs but especially those of digital screens. It aims to create a dialogue between the digital and the analogue. The work utilizes the traditional medium of oil painting in order to explore the role of digital representation in art.

What I'm really interested in here is taking apart the contemporary visual world which is of course dominated by the digital screen. There are still many implications of this technology that are yet to be understood or even considered.

With the (possible) exception of our immediate surroundings, we encounter the world around us for the most part via the digital screen (in whichever form it happens to take) and the question of what exactly this means for art is the one with which this work is fundamentally concerned.

Much of this work takes the form of oil painting (representing the anti-thesis of the new media) and it therefore leads to a great deal of conflict and/or interaction between these two very different media.

The first Electric Painting came about when I began to experiment with introducing some sculptural elements to my work which had hitherto consisted primarily of oil painting, I painted, to the best of my ability, a laptop, from life (with part of its casing removed for aesthetic reasons) displaying on it's screen the image of a previous painting.

Expanding on the back-and-forth I'd earlier started to explore. The process was now key. The fundamental thing was no longer the aesthetic quality of the painting (composition etc.) but rather the fact that this was a painting of a digital reproduction of a painting. Exploring the limits of this theoretically limitless process of reproduction, digital and manual, became crucial.

Left with this spare laptop (still working but obsolete) after completing the painting I thought of a way of taking the process to the extreme. I began taking the laptop apart to determine whether or not it might be possible to fix the screen itself onto the surface of the painting in order really to turn the piece into; object, painted representation and digital representation all at once. An electric painting.

For the second incarnation of the Electric Painting I constructed a specially designed frame to accommodate a different laptop so that the piece could be more unified and (dare I say it) more robust.

The third Electric Painting was more an alteration or a correction of the second, re-using the same frame and laptop I had built for the second one but re-wrapping it with fresh canvas in order to change the painting to a completely different design. Leaves were a logical choice. Taken directly from nature as opposed to photographs of photographs of images on the screen etc which in the end became confusingly self-referrential. I felt that the cycle of representation that had been fundamental to my work prior to this piece had run its course and so I wanted this work to be simpler and more elegant...