Within our lifetime, perhaps the greatest revolution in the way we communicate information since the invention of writing has occurred. And this revolution has been seamless, all pervasive and universally embraced. I'm talking about the shift to digital from analog. My practice as an artist is firmly routed in the analog - I mean how much more analog can you get than smearing charcoal on paper. Increasingly what interests me is what happens when the analog bumps up against the digital - the intersection of the accidental, imprecise and ephemeral with the clear logic of the binary.
|Christopher Pelley TOGA charcoal/paper 90" x 88"|
|Christopher Pelley CARAVAGGIO charcoal/paper 90" x 88"|
|Christopher Pelley HOODIE charcoal/paper 90" x 88"|
As an aside, I subscribe to the theory that optical devices have played a role in the studio practice of many artists from the 15th century on - Caravaggio (1571-1610) included. The image of Caravaggio's Boy Peeling Fruit (1592) that I have appropriated for this exhibition has always felt a bit awkward. The boy's right sleeve appears disjointed, disconnected from the rest of the body. I had a very difficult time working on that segment of the drawing. The shapes I was drawing did not convey information to me. It was only after I assembled the completed sections that I understood what I had drawn. The boy's right arm is viewed from a point that is slightly different and slightly out of focus from the rest of his body. Did I stumble upon tangible proof that Caravaggio used optics, at least for this early work?
The exhibition runs from March 19 to April 18, 2014 at the Performing Arts Center Gallery at Illinois Central College.