January 11-February 3, 2007
Rex Bruce has been working with art and technology for over two decades, distinguishing himself as an innovative artist, educator and curator working in a wide variety of computer related disciplines over the course of his career. Currently his focus is experimentation with a variety of low resolution digital cameras, using them as a starting point for inverting the conventions of photographic art and digital imaging.
His images are peripheral bits and pieces of Los Angeles where he works and resides. Within sun-drenched sky-scapes the very tops of golden arches, street lamps, vernacular decoration and architecture jut upwards into the frame. Images are shot towards the sun and composed cropped with subject matter circling the edges. Lens flares, colorizations, and artifacts of the cameras are systematically cultivated and refined. Objects appear in shadow, without detail and difficult to discern. Some images are taken with a cell phone camera where the subject then becomes the "air" in which mobile communications are transmitted. Often included are telephone poles and slack wires strung between them, an ironic choice considering the instrument with which they were photographed.
Only simple adjustments are used exclusively to bring out the usually avoided artifacts of digital imaging. Tone, hue and saturation adjustments emphasize banding and pixilation, as well coloration in shadow areas. Recombination of imagery is achieved by skillfully discovering tableaux "narratives" occurring in the heavenward views of Los Angeles.
Tiny VGA images are enlarged to enormous proportions using odd adjustments and settings during the printing process to induce more "error material" into the artworks. Each image is cropped to an aspect ratio such that it can be printed as large as possible on his Epson archival printer. The images are 38"x84" and are printed onto canvas which is then stretched onto traditional wooden bars. The material once intended for paint now receives corrupted photo-numeric information.
The end result bears a relationship to the work of painters. Over the centuries many artists sought to advance their capabilities to create an ever more realistic representation of what could be seen. Eventually an experiment began with the nature of the paint itself and other purely aesthetic concerns regarding shape, texture, color and form (to name a few). Similarly, this work breaks off from the pursuit of the "best image possible" into an exploration of the formalistic attributes (and conceptual implications) present in the emergent technology of digital imaging itself.
The unwanted becoming wanted is a thematic undercurrent in his work over the past five years that bears a relationship to more broadly philosophic ideas. It is an aesthetic move that brings the "margin" into the "center."
These works are 38"x84" archival epson prints on canvas. They are in editions of 10 at this size. Smaller sizes are available in editions of 20.
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