Monday, January 23, 2012


Lately I've been working on these solid image things. I was really happy when I figured out to call them bricks, because before that, it was all vague and squirrelly. I guess that's what I get for trying to make something that was outside paradigm, and that's what they're about: trying to make something that was different and novel, and not just for fashionable reasons. I wanted something that was intrinsically novel, because of a purpose. And I got that finally.

They're solid images, in the sense that they exist, and can be viewed in three dimensions. It took me about six months to reach competency at making them, but now that I've got that, I feel that it's time to start producing works that are unique to the medium. I feel like I just figured out how to mix my paints, now I need to start painting.

They're kind of cool to see, but I suspect not in relation to the difficultly of making them, but that's okay. I feel like that overhead is paid towards being unique, rather than in any way aesthetic. And the uniqueness is worth it to me, even if it is subtle. Fact is, even though I don't think I'm taking advantage of the medium, I figure I'm probably in the top 50 or so in the world at this. (As I've been exploring, I've run across some other artists who are doing similar things, or who were obviously motivated by the same desires and have come up with other (better, soon to be ripped off by me) solutions.)

They're difficult to make, in any case, and partly that's why I like them, because one of my issues with photography, as an art form, was that in some aspects, it was too easy. Particularly in the output stage. One of my big motivators was to address the issue of uniqueness. I think I've found a way to create items of photography that have some of the tangibleness or uniqueness of a painting. These bricks are things. Not prints. So that's good. They require work, and perseverance, and technique, to make, so that's good in terms of the work that I referenced in my 'Tools' article. It doesn't matter who knows how it's done. I've heard from a few people who've seen them, that they're going to give it a try themselves. I have my doubts about how many will succeed, and those that do will be making good stuff.

Broadly, there are two approaches to expressing in a brick (as opposed to manufacturing the brick). One is to capture a scene in three dimensions, and I've discovered about half a dozen different ways to do this, from something like tomography (capturing layers of the scene, layer by layer), to software/mathematical deconstruction of a 2D image, to free-hand recreation (painting, basically) of parts or all of a scene. The other broad category is collage, or abstract, where what's in the brick isn't representational, but rather a thing created. The brick itself as the expression, if you will.

Anyway: I just thought I'd say a little something about them. Maybe if I have more ambition, I'll do a step by step one of these days, or maybe a video, but for now, just this. And a few pictures:

Thanks for reading,

Dave DeHetre

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