~  digital surrealism  ~
COMPUTER MANIPULATED PHOTOGRAPHY : computer aided photomontage

Note: what has come to be referred to as "digital art" is actually an analogue of art, thus, what is presented here is actually ANALOGUE ART.
"digital" images .... created with Adobe Photoshop 5, Fractal Design Painter 5, Bryce...
-skeletised war machine -----
---- life cruncher---
demolisher ---
---- sentinel reaper
procession -- - 




skeletomechanical dissolution --- 
-- ---sentinels



The "digital" images (above) were created using Photoshop 5, on a G3 Power Mac. The camera used in the photography is a Pentax Super A SLR - a chemical-film camera. The photographs were scanned with an Agfa snapscan 1236. The sky in both skeletised war-machine & sentinelreaper multiplied was the sky over Melbourne one evening in late January 2000. The mechanical parts are photographs of abandoned machinery, sewer pumps; along with found animal skulls... all waiting to be photographed! The final image, hydrosymbiot, was only finished 5 March 2000. The figure was created in photoshop...the background was generated by Bryce 2 3D.... which I installed 2 days earlier...

Photomanipulation 2001

hephaesteos' post industrial muse

the venus cave

Digital 2002. Hybrid digital images: photoshop, painter, bryce

exo-dimensional galaxy transporter

photo-manipulation 2002


photo-manipulation 2003
.... for a while I had been producing "digital" images ... tripped up by the strong flowing current of terminology spat out by a "digital" generation which has become unfamiliar with the process of physical creation. Alas though, these images are not digital per se. They are instead photo manipulations, montages, albeit, photomontages assembled on a computer rather than by hand.  A photomontage created by hand is not "manual art" neither is a montage created on the computer itself  "digital art".

 .... Photography as an end in itself has been overrated. All one has to do is understand light, see a pattern or composition in what is already there, aim the camera and click a button. That does not mean there have not been some beautiful photographs taken... But how much of the credit should the photographer receive for something that was already there? Does framing something that is already before oneself, in which one has had no say in creating (say a nude or a landscape) constitute art? And, when all was said and done in photography what was left? the photographing of male genitalia by Mapplethorpe.... a demonstration of the absolute failure of photography to raise itself to any artistic or intellectual height. ...With the computer however, the photographer is no longer limited by framing what is already before one. Now the photographer can  reframe the subject, reframe what they have photographed, in an altogether novel way. That makes the photographer an artist rather than a technician. For others though, the computer is no more than a means of concealing the paucity of their imagination, skill or intellect, concealed as it is by the use of 'filters' as if  fudging the details can somehow make up for shortcomings.

Lautreamont, Isidore Ducasse, (born 1846, died 1870) predates surrealism by around a half a century, yet his influence was profound. His description of the strange beauty of the chance encounter of a sewing machine and umbrella on the disecting table defined the principle of surrealism's quest in associating the disparate and incongruous. My computer manipulated photography is purely surreal. The juxtapositions just work. And, as distinct from my paintings (although many of my photo-juxtapositions are computer renditions of what I have already painted and drawn), these photo-montages make no statement. These are purely surreal images...

Immediately below are 4 of 13 such motages created from 14 February - 9 April 2003 ... which, incidentally, is about how long it would take me to complete one solitary oil-painting (3-4 days to stretch and prime the canvas allowing for drying time between coats of gesso; a week or so to draw the image onto the canvas; 5-6 weeks to paint):

manufacturing angst 1

manufacturing angst 2

misplaced angst generator

reconstructing the deconstructed post-
industrial muse
... and after injuring my left  arm which incapacited me from drawing for a month, I was forced to instead create more photmontages...Another ten images were created from mid june 2003 to mid august 2003. Below are 4 from that series...:

enigmatic nonkythera timepiece

alternative shiva 2

foetus bringer

... and, for good measure, I created one additional image 19/8/2003 

monument 5

detail 5

... some additional images February 2004

littoral of improbable mechanics

johnny's industrial breeder

Photomanipulated images of 1999

monument ii

the haunting


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more photomanipulated images from 1999 & 2001 (as well as oil paintings) can seen at:www.vakras.com