2014 > Planets & Stars

This work examines the flexibility of the photographic through various studio experiments connecting the printed photograph with digital imaging, sculpture, and painting. The cohesive theme throughout this work is photography’s ability to distort what we see, and in turn how the photograph itself can be re-distorted through various manipulations— either through digital distortion or physical manifestation as an object.

In considering the tension between the document and the object, distance has always been a prevailing theme in photography. The ‘Planets & Stars’ series incorporates both of these forms, through the limitations of my camera and exaggerating the inherent abstraction of the photographic image—as well as properties of abstract painting and minimalist sculpture.

The images in this series was created by taking a long exposure photograph of several planets in night sky with a digital camera. Due to the length of the exposure, the Earth’s orbit is recorded in the motion blur create by the eight to ten minute exposures. In Photoshop, I magnified the image of the planets to 3200% (the maximum magnified scale available in the program). The result is a pixilated image that resembles the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Barnett Newman and Kenneth Noland.

The decision to create a painting of this photographic image stemmed from my recent explorations of mark-making in painting. In these works, a very abstracted and systematic process involved taping off one inch squares and painting them in with solid, unblended colors. Yet this method of application still yields a depictive image. Thus it is not the act of painting that abstracts the work. Rather, it is the act of strictly adhering to the photographic image that allows for the work to retain its appearance as abstracted.