Knots, Cuts and “Gingham”

October 26, 2011

As much as most of my work now has me inserting color keys into scans of paintings there’s also still some work just with the scans using other Photoshop techniques.  It’s not as eye-popping as some of the slugs but it’s its own unique conceptual twist because paintings suddenly darken or get more blurry in a systematic way that feels like cheating (in a good way) because what could have been painstakingly executed on a large canvas was done in a few moments in Photoshop by someone who doesn’t really know all that well how to use Photoshop, which (again now) recalls something from the Mary Heilmann book–that when she decided to start painting, she was determined not to learn how to paint.  And it worked.

There’s been talk of “deskilling” in one form or another since the post-Impressionists but I’m really pushing it through the work posted below, using $10 of art materials and Photoshop 101 techniques to produce expansively and expensively large color photographs, doing an end run around photographic production entirely in order to produce the same end result.  After years curled inside the steep learning curve of how to take a decent photograph that follows all the rules in order to get itself over this feels like a rejection of that, or if not a rejection at least a poke in the eye of legitimacy.  Not that what I’m doing (on an abstract level) is novel at all but that I found my own way to do it that also gets itself over despite the deskilling.


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