Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pixels Per Person (With Process)

For the past few months I've been busy painting a new work near the end of my senior year at school. I started by gathering references of the twelve graduating fine artists this semester and painting each of their faces - all of them in a systematic frontal pose. I had mentioned to others when I was in the process of painting these portraits that I had been inspired by one of Justin Coro Kaufman's piece from a few years back. He's an absolutely amazing artist and guy, I would recommend you go there and check out his work. Each portrait took anywhere between a day and almost two weeks. Some just seemed to need more refinement than others, and it was great to be able to sit down longer than a live session would usually take and really work out things over a longer period of time.

I kept the end result in mind at all times so the background is made of blacks, whites, greys, and a few intense colors to make the final piece even more fragmented. After all the portraits were finished they were sent through a saw and sliced into smaller rectangular bits.

At this point I was stuck in trying to figure out how this was going to be displayed. I wanted a thin strip of black to encase the painting in, so I talked with my instructor and designed a simple floating frame. To get it done was a feat in itself, this was the first time I had made a custom frame for one of my works. I bought poplar and maple and cradled the hardboard which is what the panels are glued to. Below I posted shots between building the support panel and frame together. I calculated somewhere around 400 hours were spent from beginning to finish on this piece, from taking everyone's photos to screwing the panel into the frame. This was a completely new learning process, one which I'm going to expand upon in the future.

Pixels Per Person, oil on panel, 43.5 x 42.5 inches
Top Left: Progress shot with two portraits done and a third started next to a reference photo.
Top Right: A detail shot of everyone's upper right face making sure each rectangle was cut to the same size as all the others.
Bottom Left: The board and faces lined up, ready to be assembled.
Bottom Right: Progress of gluing each piece together.

Top Left: Bare frame being clamped together.
Top Right: Back crossbars being glued to the hardboard support.
Bottom Left: Frame being coated with flat black enamel spray.
Bottom Right: The back of the completed painting with floater frame screwed into the cradle of the painting.
Finished and uncut paintings before cutting. Each painting measured 15 x 11.25 inches.
Finished painting in the studio.