Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Perils of Digital Color Re-Creation

Living in the Slums is a piece that I have been working on for the "Dwellings" exhibit which is coming up far too soon. I have had some issues with this piece on its surface, i.e. it was feeling empty, because there wasn't enough color and it was entirely too peaceful for what I was trying to say. Now I've resolved that. I used direct color compliments to really amp up the struggle of the piece, but have still kept the bird itself in relative calm and midtones. It is after all the environment that is the conflict, not the individual.

As in real life, most people will come to find whatever is their home as normal. They will consider their station in life, get used to it, and albeit they may want more out of life, they are still comfortable with what they have. It is more for rich, domineering individuals to come and tell the lower classes that they aren't living well.

Anyway, that is what I was thinking about while making this painting, and although the digital copy has been a frustrating loss of my color palette and its delicacies, hopefully you will get an idea of what I am trying to get at.

I guess in the end, the moral of the story is that converting your images to digital is kind of like seeing a painting through different eyes. Perhaps it would be better to compare to translations of language. No matter how good a translator is, there is something lost in telling a story in a different language. Take for the instance the Bible written in Hebrew. I was once told that there were roughly 6 ways to translate a four word excerpt to English.

When thinking that way, maybe my colors don't look so bad in the digital copy.
Til next time.


GreenSpaceGoods said...

It's a beautiful piece :)

I know what you mean about translation. I used to have this print of Cafe Terrace at Night by van Gogh. I love that paining, but when I finally saw it in person, I realized that the print was like a lie. Certain shapes where actually shadows cast by the built up paint. The actual colors were so much more vibrant. I took the print down that day and prefer to just remember how wonderful the real thing was.

R.N.T.S.M. said...

I totally agree with you about Van Gogh. I was always impressed by him, but was never even aware of how good he was until I saw a retrospective at SAM in Seattle. The roses that were built up dabs of paint.

Oh my.

Julia Cocuzza said...

this is a tasty one