Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Visioneer's Gallery: Pixel Perfect
Alex Guofeng Cao’s mosaics from our collective photo bank
Cao reveals, "I'm fascinated by icons and celebrity. I have worked with many, from Lindsay Lohan to Tommy Lee Jones; they shared a common musicality that translates internationally."
Although the idea of photo-mosaic isn't new, the surprise in Cao's work is in the discovery of smaller images as one gets closer to the portraits. In most of his installations, there are hanging magnifying glasses to allow the viewer to get truly intimate with his compositions.
On his choice to work specifically in black-and-white, Cao states, "The subtle gradations of tone between deep black and stark white are the generators for all the colors I need to create my world. Everybody sees something different in these images."
According to one reviewer of Cao's work, "The artist renders what Barthes formulated as the photograph's intransigent presence as what-has-been porous to the narratives of history and the process of representation itself. The process of decomposing the original image allows it to re-emerge with a new lease on life; to be resurrected, as it were."
Creating photo-mosaics from hundreds of thousands of photographs is no easy task. It demands rigorous attention to technical detail—to match the color and tone in a single "photo-pixel" to the corresponding area in the final image. It also requires intricate computation. The art lies in conceptualizing the image and in piecing it all together. At Duggal Visual Solutions, we printed Cao's large digital compositions on canvas and stretched them onto wood frames, making the image feel more like a painting. Some of his other works were enlarged to sizes as big as nine feet by six feet and mounted to archival Plexiglas. Cao's sold-out portfolio of photo-mosaic works includes Brad Pitt made up of Angelina Jolie, Princess Diana built of Grace Kelly and Carla Bruni created from images of the former French President, among several others.
Mosaic is a term derived from the Latin Mosaicum, which means "belonging to the muses" or evoking inspiration. To have found inspiration in the unlikely portraits of our popular culture and to stitch them all together into a single image is certainly an inspiring thought for our image-rich cyber-world. It opens up the digital world to a whole new set of exciting possibilities and sets the tone for reinterpreting our entire photo bank.
Adds Cao, "As an artist, I am fortunate to have Hope from Duggal, who worked professionally and tirelessly with me; this seamless collaboration allowed me to create my best art works ever! It has been a pleasure to work with the best in the trade for the past 20 years with Duggal!"
Visit Duggal at www.duggal.com or check out the blog at www.duggal.com/connect and see their newest articles on the printing, photography and fine-art industries.
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