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CICADA is the newest piece of a limited edition series that I have been working on for the past few years titled "Mechanical Integrations". Inspired by nature, insects and animals along with mechanical technology, Mechanical Integrations are digital works of imagination that involve the blending of natural and mechanical elements to create new ways of looking at things that are otherwise familiar. The completion of this work is expressed through a process of division, reconstruction and a meticulous handling of shapes, colors and graphic patterning. The result becomes a multi-layered space. A visual interplay which blurs the boundaries of precision, creating an echo and vibration that lifts the image from its two dimensional surface.
The early works from this series were done directly onto the digital screen with very little planning other than an abstract idea for the subject. Compositions freely evolved often. Today, that free spirit remains within the process, however, the works have now progressed to a point of higher complexity that involves a stronger interest and connection to the subject. Consequently, the pieces involve a lot more planning and take much longer to complete.
CICADA is an example of work that has resulted from this new direction and progression. This piece is a sensual expression of the insect that combines its cycle of metamorphosis, elements from its surrounding environment, and the integration of mechanical components. The wings are an ornamental tapestry of environmental shapes and patterns. It’s glowing red eyes are layered beneath a protective helmet. All these aspects are tied together with many designed layers and thousands of individual visual decisions.
CICADA, like all of the “Mechanical Integration” works, is only available as limited edition fine art prints. They have been and continue to be exhibited internationally and are currently part of several private collections. In addition, the works are on permanent display at Acquisitions of Fine Art Gallery in Hinsdale, Illinois — a Western Suburb of Chicago.
The overall process begins with a lot of research in order to find the most detailed photographic or real life references for each element that make up a subject. Examples may include a Nautilus Shell, the hairs of a Fly, a wing pattern of a Bumble Bee, the structure of a leg, the inner-workings of a Harley Davidson V Series engine, or the tentacles of a Giant Pacific Octopus. These acquired references are only utilized as a starting point. In some instances, based on said references, I’ll render individual features realistically. In others, details are expressed in a graphic or abstract way. Eventually, everything is mixed, blended, and combined into one composition. The end result becomes a fully integrated piece that includes provocative subject material and stylistic executions.
A digital platform along with Adobe Software, such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, are the best tools that I know for this approach—providing the ability to experiment, explore, work and rework until the desired result is achieved. Giclee prints and the digital screen become the medium of choice.
"Cicada" was part of a group exhibition at Art Expo in New York that ran from April 21 through April 24, a solo show "An Evening of Art Parallels" at Acquisitions of Fine Art in Hinsdale, Illinois on April 27, 2017 and a group show "Summer Small Fine Art" at the ROA Gallery in London on June 4 -10, 2017. In May 2017, Cicada became part of a private art collection in Chicago.