If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.), then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like self portraits from alternate universes.
Though this pair is based on the same image, and basically the same person (moi) in two varieties, I see them as a couple, and a bit of the Bonnie and Clyde or Natural Born Killers variety.
Maybe more than a bit. I decided to go B&W with this one partly for the mug shot effect, but also for the feel of decades past. They look to me like outlaws from the 70’s. They are sharp, but didn’t get their education in college. They have the wisdom of survivors who live outside of the system. I’m not sure which is more dangerous, but it’s their tag team work one has to really worry about.
I like them, but I wouldn’t want to cross them. And if they borrowed my car (if I had one), I’d assume it was going on a long road trip and I’d never see it again. Their only loyalty is their fierce dedication to each other.
They look crafty as all hell and like they are sizing up a situation or the viewer.
OK, as I as working on this another person came out of the woodwork to attack me for working digitally. That’s two people in the last few weeks. I’ve been meaning to write another article defending digital painting from a slew of (bad) arguments, but haven’t done so because I don’t feel like defending my art. If people can’t see why it’s valid, beautiful, and interesting, or if they find some foregone conclusions with which to dismiss all of my work, I can’t take them seriously. Dealing with that kind of negativity and narrow-minded judgmentalism, and having to defend myself against it, is just an energy sump. I’d rather just keep adding more pieces to this series, and I’ve got some coming up that will themselves visually refute their reactionary positions (my biggest critics these days are traditional oil painters who also hate contemporary art and can’t begin to fathom Francis Bacon).
I’ve got at least a dozen more pieces already planned, and this series is going in some unexpected and unpredictable directions.
Here’s all 24 pieces so far (in chronological order). Just click anywhere in the gallery to go into the screen-show mode.
And if you like the (experimental) sort of art that I do, and you don’t want me to have to quit or put it on a back-burner, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art back on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). Ah, if only I could amass a few hundred dollars per month this way, I could focus entirely on my art and writing. See how it works here.
Or go directly to my account.
Or you can make a small, one time donation to help me keep on making art and blogging (and restore my faith in humanity simultaneously).
2 replies on “New Art: Selfies From Alternate Universes # 24”
Oh wow, I love them! Especially the woman, she’s so badass. But they go perfectly together, what a pair of outlaws. Despite the B&W, I find them quite modern.
Where do these critics come from? Ignoring them will save you lots of energy and peace of mind.
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OK, it’s not just me, then. He’s bald and has some hyper-masculine characteristics that make him look tough, but why she is a “bad-ass” is a bit more elusive, and I wasn’t 100% positive other people would read her the same way.
As for the critics. My psychological take on this is that traditional painters feel beleaguered and disregarded in the contemporary art world, and thus that they are defending oil painting when they attack the threat of digital mediums. Both people accused that “the machine” does the work, and thus that the necessary limitations of “the machine” are also my limitations. More than a bit insulting, and very competitive. It’s an “us vs. them” mentality applied to artistic tools, and I just happen to be in their perceived enemy camp. I am then thought of as the bad guy for not accepting their blanket dismissal of my art and their irrelevant criticisms. Never mind that the same conceptualist paradigm that dismisses them dismisses me. I’m the bogey man for not accepting that I’m the bogey man. It’s my theme song for this decade.
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