Aug 16, 2015 I was out of town for the weekend enjoying Lake Huron. Without a computer, or any of the usual city stimulus I think in a different way.
I was searching for something on my iPhone with a Chrome browser. I’m slowly reading After Nature by W.G. Sebald. In the opening stanza there are references to specific paintings so I was looking for the Lindenhardt Altarpiece to make more sense of the writing. After I did an initial web search and then refined it to look for images I noticed a distinct delay as those images loaded on my iPhone. I thought these loading images looked interesting. They were solid blocks of colour. I started taking screen grabs of them.
After the discovery I started to do specific, targeted searches for things like sky, water, red, black & white, and other terms to see if I could find even more interesting screen grabs.
Below is one of those searches. I processed them slightly on my desktop. I took the original screen ratio of the grabs and cropped to 1:1 ratio in Photoshop. But that’s it.
As well as cropping I discovered I could rotate them and they looked very different.
I also discovered I could create a composition with groups of these screen grabs. The image below is a grab of my iPhone photo gallery capturing several individual screen-grabs in a grouping. This image becomes a bit creepy when you look at it in conjunction with the photograph of the gymnasium window in the previous post. It was taken a few days prior at the Adult Learning Centre in Toronto. Both are playing on geometric patterns that unconsciously relate a bit to stained glass panel construction. I find it strange and a bit unsettling that this new discovery lead me to create something that resembled a photo I had taken a few days prior without consciously planning to do so.
I’ve gone a bit further with this concept. In the image below I did an initial Google search in a Chrome browser for “Rainbow”. I then refined to “images” and screen-grabbed 20 or so times. That created enough density in my photo album on the phone to screen grab all of those Rainbow images. I cropped that square.
I then discovered I could take a screen-grab of that square image as it rotated creating the images below. I’ll try this a few steps further. I’m interested if I can continually screen grab until the image is so small it’s impossible to read.
July 4. 2015 and I made another trip into the Junction with the goal of re-shooting these vertical blinds in the window of a lawyers office. One of these photographs might be my first painting, but I’m not 100% convinced. I do however think I’ve found something else to obsess about through photography. I can imagine myself finding other windows like these but with different colour vertical blinds. Or maybe they blinds will be interesting enough when just closed differently creating differing thickness and shades of lines. While shooting these I thought I might construct these sort of scenes if I could get hold of manufacturer samples of vertical blinds. Either that or I could visit some vertical blind store and ask to take pictures of different configurations of blinds. but that’s gonna be a pretty strange ask. in the end this might just be a ling term project and I can shoot the blinds when I find them.It’s not as simple as it seems. For one the windows need to be old school display windows, and the blinds need to be in a mid ground area in those windows. I’m not sure how to describe this properly, but these sorts of windows are all over the city, but mostly in older places. Secondly the blinds can’t be properly closed. They need to be offhandedly shut in a way that ensures some of the slats are not lined up in a symmetrical and organized fashion. I’m sure I’ll figure out other criterion as well, but for now this should work and I should be able to find a lot of places that have these.I can totally see these as abstract hard masked paintings. There would be a randomness to the spacing of the lines that I like.
Maybe this is simply about what I find aesthetically pleasing. I don’t find that a problem.
June 21, 2015. Sunday, Father’s Day. This post is really yesterday and today. Saturday I walked and today I took the bike out with a definite destination in mind. There were other things to see as well. The first two images were taken in the Junction on Saturday. The whole area was getting ready for the Summer Solstice Festival so the curb lanes where cars are usually parked had been blocked off in preparation for the street closing.
The first image is the base of a city road sign and the asphalt. I liked that the rest of the metal frame Is echoed in the a shadow across the base. To me this portrays the power of light and ability to bend in such a way. Colour yellow is nice as well.This metal billboard skeleton was my first destination. Since the picture a few posts ago of the AGO interior I’ve been thinking about this billboard scaffolding structure and others like it. How it could be another potential painting subject. It was little difficult shoot on such a steep upward glancing angle, I had to crop the original image rather drastically, but this frame works for me for a template for painting.I’ve taken pictures of this place over the years. It’s never had anything in it that I remember, but it’s been freshly renovated to sell or lease. That renovation includes a circular window in this the West facing wall. It’s on the north side of Dupont just east of Spadina. Very close to the Magic Oven cardboard pizza place and the liquor store. In the desolation that is the back parking lot there’s a large city recycling bin and beside there is the largest collection of liquor store paper bags you’ve ever seen.
That said the side window is rather special. It’s slightly tacky with the stucco wall. For some reason I detest stucco wall treatments. Maybe because I can picture the Styrofoam underneath and the technique feels so superficial and so pedestrian and suburb like. The glass faces another building which might actually be the pizza place-associated apartments. The whole time I was shooting I was waiting for some resident to tell me to fuck off from one of the shitty windows that some cheap bastard used to replace the originals.Inside the same, vacant, newly renovated, weirdly attractive building that somebody will rent for some weird store. This is taken through the circular window pictured above.This was my original destination on the Sunday. I had planned to take a picture of an exterior wall that had a nice square chunk jack hammered out of it and backed with plywood however there was a car parked in front of it and when I framed the spot I thought I had liked it didn’t work well enough to press the shutter. I could however see indie through the super-dirty windows and I liked the nice linear layout of the raw framing and the way the light played inside. This reminds me very much of one of the first photographs I took through glass. That image was of a a building on the Dundas West/Roncessvalle transition curve that was a Bank of Montreal then was converted into the existing Starbuck store. I particularly like how the electrical hangs at a nice angle from the top left of the frame and the play of cinder block grey against the wood framing browns.Another shot of that building that’s being renovated on Avenue Road, just North of Dupont. The Skylight here brings a nice glow to the setting.
The windows really were really remarkably dirty. I always get a kick how easy it is to clean them up and make the images relatively crisp by simply playing with the levels and curves in Photoshop. Just south of the interior shots on Avenue road is Del Luca Fine Art pictured below. The gallery appears to have moved, or is in the process of moving. TBC