At the end of July I found the perfect excuse to start working on middle size pieces, I saw an open call on the mall galleries and I wanted to build two pieces large enough to be presented to this contest, I applied the same construction principles I had learn with smaller pieces but soon I discovered it was going to be a far more complex and challenging process.
My idea for this was to connect different moments represented by different images inside a single piece. I wanted to represent the idea that visual memory is a collage of elements dynamically attached to one another.
I started by selecting two images from a gallery of photographs I took on two different trips to natural parks near London i.e. Richmond Park and Windsor Park, then I went through a gallery of photographs from my cellphone and selected two more images from past experiences, Finally, I “stitched” them both inside Blender and built a 3D model of them.
Afterwards, I had to rethink my construction logic and spent quite a good amount of time just learning how to translate the 3D model onto 3 separated layers of foam.
Finally I was able to finish both pieces for the contest and now I am waiting for the results.
In this series I was really decided to take risks, and I did take more than a couple, now I feel inspired to take things even further. I think that this first attempt was pretty successful.
This summer I dedicated a fair amount of time developing my practice as a painter/sculptor. Thanks to my experience building the pieces for the MA Final show I gained enough confidence to start working on a new series of painting sculptures.
I wanted to make a series of small pieces I called “square landscapes”, this was an opportunity to test a new approach to the construction process and although I still working on them, I gained crucial knowledge on how to use the materials.
First I selected 4 photographs; two landscapes from UK and two photos I took while living in Colombia, I made two different 3D models combining one landscape with one image from Colombia.
After almost 3 months I was able to finish this piece, It was a big challenge for me for many reasons, I think that I did face my biggest fear towards painting i.e. sculpting the canvas. At the end I feel I did learn a lot from making this piece.
At the moment I feel that I need to keep taking more risks while enjoying this new sculptural adventure.
The interim show finished and I feel exhausted, this was a great opportunity to push my self and get some work done, I have to say that I spent almost a month of very hard work in order to finish both pieces.
I did spent a good amount of time both invigilating and also visiting the show, I have to say I am a bit surprised about the way people engaged with my pieces, not many comments and the ones that I was able to hear where misleading, I feel that some how people do not know what to make of them or just get them wrong.
Of course, I am not thinking people are wrong neither my pieces, I just feel overwhelmed.
I was thinking that I could make a piece using different perspectives from different characters. focusing on what they are looking at. maybe painting what is important for them in a three dimensional shape.
In this way, I could use “focus” as an active element inside the composition, Like I did in my self portrait connecting my self with the reflection of my self in the mirror.
Last week I went on a trip to Paris, nice weather, lovely company and lots of interesting places to visit. Since the first day, I used my camera for different experiments while walking freely through the streets of this wonderful city, one might say that this was my first big psychogeographic exploration.
Right now I am building several models and I wanted to post some renders of one that is really interesting for me as it combines an actual object with a chunk of the surrounding environment.
This exercise has taught me a lot, now I am planning to build both a VR “walk around” and a 360 video.
I think I have a lot to explore, many ideas in my head, it is really interesting to create “3D found objects” from photographs, there are a lot of technical questions to keep in mind but I really like aesthetics of this digitalization process, I think this offers a lot of opportunities for my research on the process of memory preservation an recollection.
It’s been a while since I started reflecting about accidents and how they shape our existence. I am aware that my brain spends lots of energy just to mantain the illusion of an ordered reality and therefor, prevent me from going mad.
Although it is natural for us to stay captivated by this fabricated state of mind, it is fairly easy to unveil parts of the chaotic and unpredictable ways of “real reality”. After all, our brain basically blocks huge chunks of data coming through our senses while keeping attention on thoughts.
Today I was going back on my research, reflecting on the paths I took before developing a particular idea that I am exploring at the moment, as I was drawing a mental map, it was easy to realize that there were a lot of small accidents that influenced my mind to follow an specific direction; a photograph I took of a particular person that was standing on the train station, a sentence I read on a particular poster while I was going to the Uni. Although it may seem that I am talking about chance, I want to go further by exploring the idea of provoking accidents as a part of active research.
By now I realize that my creative practice is modulated by a higher body that prevents my self from engaging in spontaneous actions that might end up in more interesting and unknown places. On one hand, I know I need a rational structure to support my actions in order to perform well. On the other hand, I have found that in some parts of the process I am able to give up a rational approach by consciously blocking my thoughts and letting my guts lead the way.
For this piece of a landscape, I created a 3D digital model that was meant to be made physical, however I had many difficulties trying to create a big sized 3D representation of it, so I ended up deciding to go for an experimental model sculpting, at the end, I had to adapt and work in a surface that was pretty unique and also different from the original sketch.
In the present, I am still working on this piece, but the accidental approach helped me to gain confidence and I feel that soon I will start to do more work without being so dependent on 3D printing means.
I definitely believe that accidents might help develop ones practice in interesting directions and I feel that those new paths might go really close to one’s true expression.
I have to confess that since I started making 3D models, I had this fixed idea about the process needed in order to make them become physical objects. In my mind, I had this idea of accurate materialization, and that is why I was so exited about using a 3D printer.
However, after five months of trial and error experimentation, I’ve decided to give in my need for accurateness in order to overcome my present restrictions. Now I am willing to start sculpting the canvas for my pieces (I do not know if I should call it canvas anymore).
For my next piece I am using a 180 Image I made while visiting Windsor park, I imported it inside blender and extruded it to make a 3D model.
A few days ago I bought a sheet of blue polystyrene foam and went to the 3D workshop to cut it with a hot knife (I have to say that Gillian, the technician, was really helpful). I am planning to make a landscape piece using several cutouts of .
Before I start to make the model I wanted to test the material so I bought a foam coating and made an experimental piece applying two different coating concentrations.
I did go well and now I am preparing my self to start building the sculpture for the landscape.
Since the beginning of my painting career, I`ve been interested in the use different materials as a way to expand the representative potential of painting. This is a short review on the most significant landmarks on this active research:
MDF – Slippery paper 2008 – 2010
Around the year 2009, I started to experiment on this material, I was cheap so it was great for sketch making. One of the first things I learned about it was that it allowed the brush stroke to smoothly cover a bigger distance. This was one important discovery that made me aware of the convenience of smooth surfaces. The biggest downside was that you have to take really good care of it, after all, it is similar to paper.
MACHETE TIME – Shape the painting. 2011
Around 2011, I was again working over conventional canvas and MDF was almost in the past. Although I used to do a lot of oil painting, Acrylic paint started to attract my attention. At first I used it as the first layer for oil painting but with time, my use for it grew up to the point it replaced oils.
On one point, I wanted to paint over objects, so I made two experiments with oil based painting over milk cans, this gave me a new insight so I started to paint over objects in order to build a relation between the physical shape of the object and the depicted image. I had chosen to paint over Machetes and the final outcome opened a new path for my practice, now it was all about metal, acrylic paint and polyurethane varnish.
POP – Color fields and repetition 2012 – 2013
At this point I was really excited about using iron plaques and metal objects, I was really into acrylic painting and my motives were evolving more than ever before. I was starting to liberate from fixed photographic images and visual composition became an stimulating adventure. I felt free to experiment so I began by changing the context and the colors inside the piece. The use of patterns set the ground for the use of pixels and for the first time I took the risk of creating my first 3D painting sculptures. The downs side of Iron was that the pieces were to heavy and some of them actually ended up damaged by a combination of gravity and hard floor.
OILY LOVE – Landscape and flesh 2014 – 2015
I am not sure why, maybe it was the speed of things or the size of my expectations or the way I used to push things, by the beginning of 2014 I was exhausted and with a bitter taste on my mouth. I needed to find the joy that was missing on my brush strokes, I needed to take a deep breath and recover my energy, it was time for oil painting.
Landscapes and Figure were my main source for inspiration. I stayed well away from traditional canvas by using several different materials e.g. Fiberglass with paper collage, synthetic paper and found objects. I started to embrace more elements of the digital aesthetics e.g. pixels, glitches, color aberration, overexposure, bad framing, blurriness.
3D painting – Layers of reality 2015-2016
Around April 2015 I started working on 3D paper models, I was trying to find an affordable and flexible way to create three dimensional models. The use of Blender introduced me to 3D image composition, now I had the opportunity to compose and alter the 3D shape of the image.
Once I started my MA in London, I was able take things further thanks to the use of a 3D printing, this opened things for me because I was no longer limited by the complexity of the shape I wanted to create, or at least, that is what I though.
After a while, some issues were starting to be a real problem, firstly, 3D printing is a fairly complex process and a lot of things may go wrong (and actually did), secondly, affordable 3D printing has serious size restrictions, finally, 3D printers are delicate equipment and by February 2016 the College’s 3D printer was damaged (and still is). Although I was upset at the beginning, this ended up being an opportunity to take things further both on digital and physical grounds.
Camberwell Roller Coaster – Going VR March 2016
On March 2016 I made my first site specific VR project, It was a piece that explored the use of 3D software to reflect about the perception of space while expanding the formal elements of Digital Photography. This project also introduced my self into 360 video production.
Landscape extrusion – Modeling and Sculpting March – April 2016
A month ago I was thinking on how to make bigger 3D physical objects without 3D printing nor 3D paper modeling. My first option was to assemble several MDF laser cut silhouettes. Although it was a pretty interesting process, I ended up on a dead end once I realized that it was going to be a pretty complex task to make it a strong and lightweight piece.
After awhile, I remembered a talk I had with the technician of the 3D workshop, we talked about several materials and one of them seemed to be suited for my present needs; polystyrene foam sheets. Last week I made a new model from a landscape and now I am modeling the physical piece while reflecting about the different aspects of this new kind of process and how it fits into my practice…
I’ve been thinking about the value of 3D printed objects in the present, I guess that we tend to see them as valuable objects because we still have limited access to them, they cost a lot of money and time, and not everyone is able to create them, I can’t stop thinking that maybe this is but a repetition of what happened several years ago with 2D printing.
So… why paint over a 3D printed object?
I guess the best way for me to answer this question is trying to think the opposite way, I mean, why shouldn’t I?, leaving the thing as it is, is assuming that it is an end product, it is accepting the idea that a 3D printed object could embodies all the desirable features you can imagine in a physical creation, and for me, that is not the truth.
Painting over it gives me the opportunity to get involved as a physical been, is accepting that even if I were able to have “digital hands”, they will not replace the experience of getting involved with the physical object, even more, the digital object changes not only by acquiring physicality by it self, but above all, by becoming bonded with the physical world. This part of the process creates a whole set of opportunities and risks transforming the precious 3D object into a quite provocative blank canvas.
Don’t destroy the shape of the thing!!!
Well, this seems worse, changing the shape of a 3D printing reveals a lack of planning, after all, if you wanted a different shape you only needed to spend more time sitting on you computer instead of trying to change what has been printed, this is a pretty strong point…
So… why re-sculpt, scratch, break or burn 3D printed object?
As I did in the previous paragraph, I’m going to answer with another question: why not? or even more, what if?.
From my point of view, once you “digitalize” something from the physical world, it becomes subject to the laws of the “digital world”, even more, it is treated as a digital good without contemplation, so why not do the same with the materialized digital object?.
I think that applying physical transformations to 3D printed objects can help us both to acknowledge their physical fragility (and flaws) and to expand their physical possibilities once we understand the existing limitations of 3D printing.