When I began developing this new body of work exploring QR codes as art I realised there would be some who wouldn't "get it" or who would even question its validity as painting. Central to a good painting is its ability to draw the viewer in; to be able to engage in dialogue and to reveal itself through its unique pictorial language. On the contrary, this work in front of you can easily sidestep all of this. The formal qualities of the work; the rich hues of the oil paint, the wonderful textures and its mosaic patterns can very quickly be discarded for a tiny, onscreen image accessed via the mobile device in your hand. You can be redirected from the physicality of the painting and introduced instead to the ether of the digital world; shaking the foundations of how we've always been taught to interact with traditional art.
Unsure of where this may lead, I sought out other's opinions and approached various academics to ask for their thoughts. Along with the contribution by Bill Hare, who curated the exhibition and who wrote his piece, Makars of Beauty, for the Mark of Beauty exhibition catalogue you'll find a treasure chest of stimulating and informative essays inspired specifically by these paintings.
The general consensus was that this artwork would indeed very likely divide opinions and, as an artist, what more could I ask for? Good art should stimulate debate and I really hope that these paintings encourage this. Please feel free read the short essays and add your own comments below them to keep the discussion going.
- Art and Innovation
- Virtual Enlightenment
- Protest In 140 Characters Or Less
- Makars Of Beauty