David Brown
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Portfolios

Metamorphosis (selected prints)

The Metamorphosis series arose from the experience of the art of another culture: the complex Islamic patterns in the decoration of the Alhambra in Granada.   I modified their systematic patterns by the use of contingent elements to soften their rigidity and regularity. 

July Open Studios

Cambridge Open Studios 2018
Cambridge Open Studios 2018
modal4393
printmaking, digital art
Abstract and figurative original prints. Inspirations include architecture, natural history, colour perception, and the human face.
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Architectural spaces excite me, from the serene beauty of ancient Greek temples to the edgy, nervy buildings of architects like Borromini in Rome, and our own, equally eccentric Hawksmoor, on to powerful contemporary architects like Norman Foster.  Transmitting this excitement is an important motivator of my art. 

Original methods for the abstracts in the Metamorphosis series (e.g. Metamorphosis 26) arose from a further experience of the art of another culture: the complex Islamic patterns in the decoration of the Alhambra in Granada.  Later studies of abstract form and organic pattern developed naturally out of this, and as a result of my previous professional interest in biological systems.  

My digital methods (written in JAVA) are complex, and each new print entails much experimentation and development.  One technique involves using the tonal density in an initial image to determine characteristics of drawn marks in the final print.  For example, the density, size, or colour of the marks may be made proportional to tonality in the initial image. A possible further, playful element encodes other aspects of the first (or an entirely different) image within the final print.  This encoding may be minimal, or may be so cryptic that it is difficult to interpret the image in its original sense - in one recent print an image of a family group was so cryptically encoded that it was first interpreted as a storm at sea. 

A further strand to my work stems from a fascination with perception - of form, of space, but particularly of colour.  An undergraduate psychology course first revealed to me the peculiarities of our colour vision. State-of-the-art digital methods, together with high quality inkjet printing, allowed me to develop experimental techniques for highlighting these idiosyncrasies, and achieving more powerful colour rendering.  Some of the resulting prints contain echoes of the works of pointillists such as Signac and Seurat, and the experiments of the abstract artist Josef Albers. 

Most recent has been a voyage into portraiture and our perception of ourselves - an exploration of limits, of how fragile a personality can be in its response to depiction, and the opposite, how a personality can refuse to disappear, even though its portrait hardens to granite, or all but vanishes into randomness and space.