Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jeremy Blake

Jeremy Blake was an influential contemporary digital artist, who started as a painter and became interested in the ability of digital media to combine disciplines. He died tragically in a bizarre double suicide.

From Blake's "time-based paintings"-Winchester (2002, 18 min.), 1906 (2003, 21 min.) and Century 21 (2004, 12 min.)-are looped DVDs projected side by side...
Blake's work overcomes the problem of computer-generated color-how cold and flat the uniform saturation of color can be. His hues make you think of stained glass, not plastic. His "brush strokes" of light represent a giant step past spray-painted graffiti art, which is his art's nearest cousin... The Winchester films combine 8mm film footage, static 16mm shots of old photographs, hundreds of ink drawings, and intricate frame-by-frame digital retouching. They are meant to provide an abstract and emotional tour--not so much of the architecture, but of some of the more fearful chambers of Sarah Winchester's mind.

He designed the cover for Beck's Sea Change album and produced abstract visuals for Paul Thomas Anderson's film Punch-Drunk Love. Trading art-world pretensions for the practicalities of the music and film studio were welcome changes: "I like artists who don't feel superior to the culture they critique."

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