Barry Jay Yarkon [b. 1945- ]
Visual Artist/Digital Imagemaker

Hybrid Contemporary Digital Art: Evolution of Craft

In years past I identified as a Photographer.  I used digital photographic tools to capture and then post-process photographic images. In so doing I worked within the technical and aesthetic norms and conventions common to photographers – I was quite conscious of my digital photographic equipment and studio tools, as well as the historically “acceptable” styles and genres and strictures of the discipline of “Fine Art Photography”.

Several years ago, however, I began to think
beyond the restrictions of normative Photography.
I began to define my work product simply as Fine Art -- and myself as a Visual Artist using digital photography within my process. I learned to give myself permission to push-back against Photography's boundaries.

Now, no longer constrained, I produce image series with more freedom and less likeness to traditional Photography. I am engaging visual problems differently -- and having much more fun! The result is documented in an evolving portfolio and an increasing exhibition schedule....

Hybrid Contemporary Digital Art: The Process

Unlike those digital artists who begin a new piece with a blank monitor screen (the equivalent of a "blank canvas") and then generate images with digital drawing tablets & apps or with image-generating programs (such as fractal generators) -- my body of work builds upon the foundation of a digital image of a subject/scene captured in the real world photographically.

Then that "seed" image is manipulated using a number of commercial applications and techniques. My workflow is iterative and proprietary; it is tweaked in real time to unveil the latent fine art image I had envisioned within. This is essentially a “reductive processing” that simplifies the original, complex digital data and manipulates its form and color information to comply with my chosen style and intent. Some of the steps would surely leave traditionalist photographers aghast!

Think of this process as "Image Mining".  The resulting series of variations of the seed image are each saved for further study, selection, and re-working until one or more digital files satisfy my eye. These files are prep'd to produce limited-edition chromogenic or giclée prints, signed by the artist, archival matted and framed. Imaging on other media is being explored, such as embossed/metallic papers and stretched canvas....

This hybrid process of creating contemporary art is clearly experimental and evolving. It is primarily intuitive and acknowledges the value of serendipity. That said, the birthing cycle of an image series from capture to public viewing, might gestate for several months to a year or even longer.

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