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

Hybrid Contemporary Digital Art: Evolution of Craft

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

Several years ago, however, I began to think
beyond the restrictions of normative Photography.  I began to redefine my work product simply as Fine Art -- and myself as a Visual Artist who uses photography within his process. I gave myself permission to push-back against Photography's intrinsic boundaries.
Exploring digital manipulation’s almost limitless possibilities are a concern of my work.  Now, 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 some digital artists who begin each work with a blank screen ("blank canvas") and then generate images with either drawing tablets & apps or with image-generating programs (i.e.,  fractal generators) --  my body of work builds upon the foundation of collaged digital images captured in the real world.

Then these "seed" images are 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 most often a “reductive processing” that simplifies the original, complex digital data and manipulates its form and color information to comply with the style and intent that I've chosen. Some of these steps would surely leave traditionalist photographers aghast!

I think of this as "
Image Mining".  It’s an empirical process that sometimes drives me .… a lot of my work process involves instinctive, visual decisions. The resulting series of variations of the seed image are saved for further reflection, selection, and refinement -- until one or more satisfy my eye. These files are prep'd to produce signed limited-edition chromogenic or giclée prints; often archivally matted and framed for sale or exhibition.

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, typically takes several months to a year, or even longer.

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