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Cut-And-Paste Creations Frankenstein the Still Life

Daniel Gordon explores classicism through new-fangled digital tools.

Diana Shi

Diana Shi

Simple Fruit, 2016. Pigment print, 59 1/4 x 75 in. Edition 1/3 + I AP. All images courtesy the artist and James Fuentes Gallery

In our steadfastly advanced and technology-enhanced world, the artist’s toolbox has expanded, and creatives are adjusting their interpretations of traditional artforms. One particular artist turning tradition on its head is Daniel Gordon, whose manipulated still lifes play with the concept of what constitutes a typical rendering of fruit, flora, and glassware. New Canvas is a solo show from the Brooklyn-based artist, currently showing at New York’s James Fuentes Gallery.

In fragmented representations of indoor spaces and bowls of pears, Gordon has skillfully used computer technology to create a contemporary rejigging of a classic component of art-school painting class. By including common still-life details, Gordon touches upon the painting tradition, while somersaulting through multiple digital and non-digital effects to achieve a particular effect. Gordon uses a process where he constructs, by hand, the preliminary shapes and forms and then prints them out so he can rearrange them into a 3D structure. Photoshop is particularly handy for this process. The final step is to take another photo of this product and create a print of the photograph. The effect is a distinctly digital creation, layering swatches of bright color behind a model of still lifes, which was initially contrived in the real world. 

The artist describes his development process as "transferring materials from the online to the material, and from the 2D to the 3D and back again. The resulting pictures recall the still lifes of Cézanne or Matisse, as well as German Dadaist collage, inhabiting an ambiguous pictorial space and oscillating between flatness and depth."

Still Life with Pears, 2016. Pigment print, 49 3/4 x 39 3/4 in. Edition 3 + I AP

Still Life with Apples and Echinacea, 2016. Pigment print, 49 3/4 x 39 3/4 in.Editions 3/3 + I AP

Nectarine, 2016. Pigment print on canvas. 49 3/4 x 39 3/4, unique

Fiddle Leaf on Orange Backdrop, 2015. Pigment print on canvas. 49 3/4 x 39 3/4 in, unique

Apples 2016. Pigment print on canvas, 49 3/4 x 39 3/4, unique

Wndow and Leaves, 2016. Pigment print on canvas, 49 3/4 x 39 3/4, unique

Bowl of Pears and Shadow, 2016. Pigment print on canvas, 49 3/4 x 39 3/4, unique

Daniel Gordon’s New Canvas is currently on view at James Fuentes Gallery in New York City and runs until February 26, 2017. Find more details about the show on the gallery’s website, here.

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