After meeting my Uncle for some lunch he suggested we go and visit the Serpentine to see what was on. With no information about what was on or what to prepare myself for, ‘DAS NEW YORKER ATELIER, ABRIDGED’ was a pleasant surprise. I was greeted by large works on canvas which I first thought were painted by hand, but soon got to know the interesting and engaging way in which they had actually been made. Instead of using a paintbrush, Guyton utilises a whole range of modern technology. He uses, computers, inkjet printers, scanners and the everyday iPhone camera to create his large-scale paintings and smaller works onto paper. I particularly like the smaller works onto paper, as it reminded me off the stress I put my printer under when getting it to print over images and onto a range of surfaces, including sandpaper. This really heightened my interest into his work, as I learnt how he was making such fine art pieces from the high tech equipment we are all exposed to. It showed how these gadgets can be pushed out of their comfort zone and how their robotic nature can actually be what makes the form of artwork so interesting.
It was clear that Guyton purposefully misuses these pieces of mass-produced technology, putting them through rigorous testing, in order to explore the anatomy of a digital image and its creator. By pushing the digital equipment to its limits, it means the works outcome becomes dictated by how well the machine can cope. It means Guyton is forcing these modern machines to make work they shouldn’t, as if he is trying to question whether this tech is as good as we make it out to be and how it can be altered. He forces machines of a linear/strict function to evolve and create with a more organic/unpredictable approach. I like how a machine which is used to make replicas in a neat and orderly fashion, is mistreated and pushed to create complex yet imperfect images which it isn’t use to.
After speaking to one of the gallery assistants, he explained to me how Guyton makes his works. He said how sheets of canvas are tightly folded lengthways and pages are torn from art catalogues are sent through both inkjet printers and modern scanners. The combination of thick material, rough uneven edges, varying textures, blocked ink heads, glitchy scanners and a rough studio floor over which the printed fabric gets pulled, is what causes these inconsistent distortions and smears. These distinctive characteristics in which the work adopts through its unconventional method of creation, is what draws attention to each piece. In particular I really liked the large scale piece depicting Guyton’s studio floor. I loved how painterly it seemed at first, yet how modern/digital it felt, through pixelated details and vibrant colouring. This relates/inspired my own practise a great deal. It showed how Guyton was taking an everyday object/ something he was so familiar with and exposing it in a whole new way, becoming something not so familiar. By doing this, it forces it to morph from its original state, into something far more interesting than first thought. I love how Guyton expects but doesn’t predict floors in his works.
Another key piece for me was the stack of paintings. Guyton chooses to display a pile of paintings leaning against the studio wall. This made it so tempting to sieve through them and see what I was missing out on. It felt as if I was trying to open a password protected file, but unable to recall the correct password to access it. But by doing this, Guyton is really exploring the spatial limitations of the works new habitat. It also made me feel as if I was in Guyton’s studio for a short moment, or as if he was going to stroll in and re arrange the layout of the show, swapping some works on display with works from the unknown stack. The stack also seemed like a layering of individual moments. Mirroring the way in which we have a range of specific tabs open on our devices, in order to aid our individual routes from A – B.
Similar to my concern with space and our interactions with the components amongst it, Guyton also touches this through his over attentive way of both looking and working with mundane necessity’s.
Very impacting show.
“Today, images repeat and proliferate endlessly- websites are scrolled through and refreshed, new content is constantly being generated, banners follow us around the internet from website to website, and anything we see in front of us can be documented, achieved and shared. Guyton’s work remind us of the quantity of information that is available, but their scale and detail also give a physical presence to the internal structures of digital images, granting those normally fleeting, intangible data monumental scale and persistence” (Extract from Wade Guyton, Exhibition Guide). — Similar to how I aim to recreate and highlight the abundance of abstracted moments that occur around us, reducing their impermanence and heightening their existence, whilst capturing the unexpected/exciting find through my recreation.