Hands on matter – Evolving the image

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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…

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…and that is why I needed to write this post.

Camberwell Rollercoaster – Fishing with VR

DIWO-1This last Wednesday Raum Gallery opened the door for me and I had the opportunity to spend for almost 7 hours sharing my first VR piece with people that was passing by (At some point I used the VR set as a “fish hook” – it worked!).

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Although I was not counting, I estimate that at least 50 brave participants sat to experiment my VR experiment. This experience taught me a lot as I had the opportunity to chat with almost everybody about the experience.

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One unexpected and wonderful fact about this whole event is that, for more than half of the participants, it was the first time ever they interacted with a VR device.

Although it may feel quite different, I want to share this video in order to give you the flavor of what people experienced.

Special thanks to:

-Donald.
-Cèline.
-Anthi.

360 + hours to render!

Last week I started to work on an animation for a VR presentation that I made yesterday. When I was working on Blender, I decided to check if it was possible to make a 360 video of this animation, I discovered that it was actually very easy to set the parameters to render this kind of video, however, the difficult part is actually rendering the video on a decent quality. Now I know that I have to find a powerful computer to get it right.

So far I’ve made 4 attempts, this is the one with the biggest quality :/
TRY IT ON YOUR MOBILE

So fast so lost – or not?

Confessions on the MPR video:

I am grateful for all the feedback that other students and staff gave me. I have to say that I have been thinking about this video for the last week, reflecting about what I meant when I said I feel lost.

To be fair, the process of doing this video helped me a lot in order to gain a new perspective on my practice. Although I started to plan it 15 days before the deadline and even made a couple of animations, it was only until the last 3 remaining days that I was able to focus and develop a plan for it. I started by creating a timeline of events across five different categories, this was a breakthrough because I finally gain a bigger perspective over the whole situation and it helped me a lot to create the basic script for my presentation.

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On the morning of the final day, I almost finished the text for my video and started to make the recording of the voice, I had spent precious hours trying to do an animation on blender but time was passing by and the renders where ridiculously slow.

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3 Hours before the deadline I decided that I had to improvise and It had to be fast, Powerpoint was out of the question because I was not able to use it to sincronice sound so I did had to go for a more horrific solution i.e. IMOVIE.

The last 3 hours were crazy and I uploaded the thing without having time to change anything, my mind was boiling.

By the end of the whole process I was exhausted and yet exited about the last piece of the video, those questions where really important and I their meaning was expanding in my head.

The next day I started to think about a new SOLID idea with 3 different approaches and I spent the whole weekend working on that.

By Tuesday the 15th, everything was different in my head because I finally understood that this whole process has worked as a self-portrait.

One last confession:

Right after the review of my video, I knew that my interpretation of it was really different from anybody else’s just because I had a different perspective on the last two words…

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(but I could not talk about it).

Mirror mirror on the… screen.

The last couple of weeks I have been thinking about mirrors and how they reflect reality, It came to my mind for two reasons: the first one is that my girlfriend is doing her MA research on mirrors in photography so I’ve been discussing this topic with her, the second reason is that on a trip to Barcelona I ended up having lunch in a special little restaurant with a really cool tiled wall and I took some interesting pictures of it.

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Thanks to this experiment, I’ve decided to simulate the same situation by creating a 3D object and using it to reflect a photograph, to be thankful, I decided to use my girlfriend as the model.

So far I’ve made 3 different prototypes:

-Simple object for reflection (to get familiar with the digital process).

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Reflection #1:

In this piece I was trying to understand how to simulate the physical reflection, the end result was a bit unexpected put it gave me elements to plan something more interesting, I would like to add that at the moment I have little control over the layout of the image and I’m not yet able to add more than one image. One interesting thing I’ve found is that I can use 3D digital object to actively interact with the image, it does not have to be a one way process like I have done in the past.

-Complex object for reflection

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Reflection #2:

Things got more interesting when i did this other piece, it reminded me of the work of Anne Spalter, an artist I saw on Lumen Price conference. At that time I was captivated by the possibilities of her video process. In this case, I think I found a different way to obtain the thing I found interesting in her work, but at the same time, I gained more perspective to move forward in my own direction.

-Complex object animated reflection

Thanks to the previous result, I wanted to take thing forward to see how this image reflection my work on a moving object, I was particularly interested in seeing the way transitions occur. This was a very simple animation to understand the process.

Reflection #3:

This was an interesting result, I would like to take some time to think about the out come, at the end I’m able to control the reflecting object but still not able to have a lot of control on the reflected image.
I will also like to think about how to explore video pieces because at the moment I am centered on 3D printing, eider way, I’m really happy about this experiment, I know that in the near future I will make more of this.

Final reflection:

Lately I have been looking at some of the work of Francis Bacon; the way he treats space, the way he molds the figures, the colors, the expressions on the brush… in a way, I feel I am dealing with some of the same questions he had in his mind.

Right now I’m focused on how to approach the boundaries between visual realism and abstraction and I feel that the mirrored image is an interesting asset in order to obtain some kind of appealing image that blends abstraction and visual realism in a flexible and captivating way.