Self Negotiated Unit 1

Perspective: Studio Window Bob Tate 2018

I have now moved on to the first self negotiated unit, and taken the plunge into holography.

Why holograms?

Primarily, I’m interested in the sculptural qualities of projection mapping and potential for using really vivid colour

I’m also interested in the concept of the hologram as being a lens, which capture the whole of an image; and contains it. It occurs to me that that is exactly what the Cutout Family are; they are holographic beings, trapped for ever in one exquisite moment, yet fully alive within that moment. Holography could be the bridge to making their little wooden hearts beat; and maintain their perpetual life, within glass, within a lens.

So, the first metaphor I think I want to explore, is living within a lens

Before I embark upon this scheme of work, I ought to go back and refresh my understanding of the Old Masters, how depth is created in painting.

Perspective in painting

Basic, or linear perspective is created by the artist convincing the viewer’s optical cortex that they are viewing a vanishing point, created by the illusion of lines which appear to meet in the distance (although, of course, parallel lines, such as railway lines never actually do so). Painters create parallel lines, such as the architectural lines of a building as if they extend and meet in the distant horizon (at the vanishing point). As objects in real life appear smaller in proportion to their distance from the eye, the artist can create the illusion of perspective by placing smaller images on these lines, in the same ratio. This is called linear perspective and was discovered or invented by Paolo Uccello in the 15th century.

From its single fixed viewpoint origin, the system was developed over centuries to encompass multiple vanishing points. This enabled artists to create a much more realistic type of picture, although of course, they were still flat representations of a three-dimensional world.

Atmospheric, or aerial perspective, creates the sense of distance in a painting by emulating the natural hues of atmosphere, which appear bluer in the distance.

Example of atmospheric perspective Bob Tate 2018

(The text below is edited from several sources)

The use of painting to create an illusion of depth is ancient; and found in Roman and Greek frescos. The fable of Zeuxis and Parrhasius (the former pinted grapes, which the birds descended to peck; and the latter painter a curtain which fooled Zeuxis into trying to open it). The first use of the modern term trompe-l’œil was coined by Louis-Léopold Boilly who exhibited a painting in the Paris Salon of 1800, by that name.

Trompe d’oeil Pompeii

As mentioned, perspective drawing became very fashionable in the Renaissance. It was particularly popular for rendering illusionistic ceilings, painted in fresco, known as di sotto in sù or from below. Examples include the Camera degli Sposi in Mantua, and The Assumption of the Virgin in Parma Cathedral by Correggio (1489-1534). Vittorio Carpaccio (1460–1525) and Jacopo de’ Barbari (c. 1440 – before 1516) added small trompe l’œil features to their paintings, which tease the eye of the viewer (such as a fly resting on the frame).

Example of trompe l’oeil Carpaccio c1500

In the Baroque period, artists developed greater skills and understanding of opening up space (Quadrature) and these were used extensively in the ceilings and domes of Baroque cathedrals.

I experimented with this style in a series of paintings.

Barbie’s Bathroom acrylic on canvas 900 x 600 mm Bob Tate 2018
The floor disintegrates down towards hell.

On the carpet oil on canvas 400 x 350 mm Bob Tate 2018

Trompe-l’œil paintings became very popular in Flemish and later in Dutch painting in the 17th century arising from the development of still life painting.

The Flemish painter Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts created a chantourné painting showing an easel holding a painting (below).

Chantourné literally means ‘cutout’ and refers to a trompe l’œil representation designed to stand away from a wall. 

The style of Quodlibet illustrates items such as knives, playing cards ribbons and scissors apparently left lying around.

In the next few posts, I’ll be exploring where these concepts took me next.

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