Discover How Popular Culture Arts Are Being Transformed by Digital Photo Manipulation

Pop art in its beginning freeze-framed what consumers of popular culture arts experienced into iconic visual abstractions. With the advent of the techno age, visual information circulates in such quantities, so rapidly and exponentially, that to comprehend a fraction of it all becomes a kind of production process in itself. The recording of history and how it’s interpreted has forever changed. The exposure to mass media and consumer advertising has opened up a brave new world of imagery saturation, with a tech savvy generation only too aware yet receptive to the processes of imagery marketing; including the cautious acknowledgment of the digital photo manipulation that readily occurs to such images, ranging from the air brushing of features to outright attempts at fraud.

The use of digital media has moved from the role of recording and documenting a popular culture of the time, to one now that creates its own culture(s), in ever quickening flashes that morph in and out of time often in unison with the latest fad television series or movie franchise.

The ‘spinning pop’ project as popular culture arts, is supported through the maintenance of logs, diaries, and various volumes of collected documentary materials. These documents comprise five components through which the nature of my practice is explored. I have adopted a visual approach to the traditional ‘artist’s journal’, with an extensive series of visual, written, and collected documents that have recorded the works in process. The five documentary components of this project comprise Collections (volumes of text based source materials); Diaries of digital daily images and collages printed onto copy paper; Work in progress logs (volumes of notes and photographs of the daily work practices); Daily postings to the social networks of the completed works; and including the Digital video compilation diaries.

While my work is influenced by Rene Magritte’s great sense of mystery in his juxtaposition of what appears to be unrelated images, I seek a less literal representation of the images created. His intent is to build an ambiguity into the visual language, an intention to engage the viewer on several levels. Generally my painted work is in a pixelated style, and while they are influenced by Georges Seurat’s intent for the viewer’s eye to blend the colours, they are not developed through the Pointillism technique. The digital work varies in its use of mediums and presentation, often produced with archival inks-on-cottonrag paper.

Unsurprisingly, we as a collective of artists examine every facet of life from a popular culture arts perspective, utilizing all available resource, materials and mediums to depict our interpretation of the world about us. The use of digital photo manipulation, and the creation of random imagery is just not surprising, nor outside the ‘norm’ of our brave new world. Photography has for many decades had to combat the accusation of ‘But is it Art?’, and thus as technology develops at such an astonishing pace, photographic manipulation is the medium at the proverbial ‘coal face’ or cutting edge, at which you would expect to find artists operating.