My work often starts out with photographs, mostly ones my artist-wife Melody Winnig or I have taken over a 35-year period of intense interest in photography. Our archive includes tens of thousands of images on slides, prints and film. I have scanned many of these historical images and all of my personal photography in the last several years has been digital.
Why do I start with photos? In my model of working, most of my Art KOU KOU starts out with “real” or “objective” actual images of reality such as can come from a camera. Using a camera is mainly a matter of efficiency rather than principle. A 17th century painter could produce photo-realistic portrayals of something existing in the world, though it might have required months to do so. It is vastly faster, easier, cheaper and more flexible for me to start out by simply taking a picture. I am not alone in this respect. It is common for contemporary painters to photograph a portrait or landscape and then take weeks in the studio to render the image as an oil painting.
My personal use of a camera is different than it was during my multi-media days of the 60s. Then, I would go out to photo a student demonstration with a seven-pound camera, light meter, tripod and a big leather bag full of lenses, filters, and film. For me today, the most interesting images are ones I run into unplanned, a fur-wearing lady carrying three poodles in her arms, a beggar juxtaposed with subway graffiti, children playing leapfrog over the leg of a reclining toothless old man – fleeting moments of existence that in minutes or seconds will change to something else. So, I always carry a small digital camera in my pocket, one capable of capturing high-quality images. Whenever a unique scene shows itself, I whip the camera out and take a picture - if I am fortunate enough that the scene is still there. I typically add add 100 or more photos a week to my digital collection this way, more when I am traveling.
In 2003, I started to work with 3-d computer models to create backgrounds or elements for my Art KOU KOU works. Although I am still in the process of learning this technology I remain quite excited about it, You can check out my little essay 3-d Modeling for 2-d Artists.
I like to start an Art KOU KOU work with photographs or 3-d models of sufficient strength to qualify as works of art in themselves. I use only a computer to do the rendering into art. Things I may do include:
In 2004 and 2005 I have been working with special software that can perform systematic mathematical transformations on images: Kaleider, a program that can be thought of as a very general purpose kaleidoscope, and Liquib which treats the surface of an image as if it were liquid. See for example my Passages gallery for works created with the help of Kaleider. I worked with Jeff Holcomb, the developer of these ingenious programs. I tested them and made several suggestions that were incorporated into the current versions of the programs,
For hard-copy output, I can create ink jet, dye transfer, Giclée, Iris or other printouts of my work in any size. I make sure my digital image files are of sufficient size so that the final results are free from visible pixelation – unless I want pixelation, that is.
Starting in 2002, I have been experimenting with dynamic, multi-media and interactive modes for presenting my art - ones appropriate to this age of TV and Internet. As of September 2005, I have a total of nine art galleries on this site that present my art with combinations of sound, animation, and interactivity. I have been using several technical tools for this purpose including Flash (tm), Java (tm), DHTML, and Anfy applets as well as Kaleider and Liquib. I have also created experimental DVDs that present my art in multi-media format.
My background as an artistMy ART KOU KOU Gallery
Art and Re-fractalization of reality
KOU KOU in the History of Art
Art KOU KOU Manifesto
KOU KOU ArtistsArt KOU KOU home page
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