Digital Nudes in Oil The Movie of the Making of the Paintings
Super-8 filmmed by Peggy Anne Berton Erik Satie performed by Paul Jenkins
Narrated by Leif Harmsen
The large canvases of digital nudes in oil paint read as abstract at close range, but with distance they can be imaginatively discerned as photo-graphic male nudes, depending on your unique politically and sexually informed way of seeing. Among other and ultimately more important accomplishments they prove to would-be censors that "obscenity", a legal term, exists squarely in the eye (or "I") of the beholder. They are an insescapable beginner's lession into the mind-opening world of semiotics, and rich objects of colour to simply enjoy.
The fodder used for plans include reinterpretations of men's online dating site profile pics, downloaded porn that in itself has nothing ot recommend it, personal photos and drawings. The paintings are in rich sophisticated colour and their modern geometry suggest a digital paint-by-numbers promised perfection. In fact, I mostly paint form grayscale plans; I invent the hues as I paint. Weirdly, they're equally painting and digital photography, abstract and figurative, modern and post-modern. To me they're an indevitable product of our ever more digitised sexual culture. Academic arguments aside, they're stunning to look at, most especially for their colour, and objects of wonder to anyone new to them.
The idea for these paintings began in the 90s from my frustration with the Canadian institutions of censorship and my turn of the Century love-hate relationship with formalism. They're an endless and fascinating challenge to paint. The finished pictures now stand on their own as abstract colour field painting, as digital art and within the high end of society's digitised sexual expression.