Helena Davis Gallery
January 27 - February 19, 2006
Opening Reception for the Artists
Friday, January 27, 2006
Celebrate Fourth Fridays at Plant Zero
Artspace Opening Receptions Are on Fourth Fridays from 7:00-10:00 pm
Visit us and see ArtWorks' Openings next door on the same night
This series of digital photographs came about quite by accident. Literally. While recuperating from a serious car accident which had landed me in a local burn unit for a month, I found myself with quite a lot of time on my hands, singed as they were. For a variety of reasons, I decided to purchase a digital camera and revisit a creative tool which I had not used since the fifth grade, when I draped members of the junior varsity football team across tree trunks and snapped them with my parents’ Brownie.
Since I am accustomed to taking my dogs for a daily romp in Bryan Park, subject matter was close at hand. Each day, the camera took me deeper and deeper into the park, especially along the creek called Jordan’s Branch, and as I travelled further along that creek, the amount of trash grew in such quantity and variety that it seemed as if I had wandered into some kind of Boschian landscape. For reasons semi-mysterious to myself, I began photographing these not-so-still lives of trash; but it was only after fiddling with these images in my digital darkroom that I began to see a lyrical beauty hidden in what is normally considered—and with good reason—worthless and harmful.
While these images began as a way to pass the time during my convalescence, they quickly became exciting experiments in pure digital creativity, pushing me to question the definition of photography itself. They redefined for me the camera as a creative tool, especially in conjunction with editing software, which is the new darkroom for film-less image-recorders, aka digital cameras. On a literal level, the images are pedagogic, raising awareness about the effects of our individual and collective carelessness as well as the poor stewardship of our local government; and although utilitarian, they radiate the aesthetic of old world paintings. Metaphysically, they point to a less tangible truth about the core of spiritual beauty which underlies all creation, perhaps serving as a metaphor for those humans whom we view as worthless or harmful, if only because we are blind to their true beauty and worth, which no physical makeover will ever reveal.
I call these images "pixographs," because the are purely digital creations. They are taken with a digital camera, edited with pixel-based software, and printed on a digital printer. They are not montages, but photographs taken "as is" in Bryan Park, enhanced only in color, tone and brightness.
For more information, visit: www.mcrumistudio.com
Read the Press Release for this show
Mark McIntyre was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. After studying fine art at University of Arizona, graphic design at University of Illinois, interior design at Harrington College of Design and arts décoratifs at l’École du Louvre, Mark traded his life as a disco bar waiter for that of a monk in a Benedictine monastery in northern Minnesota.
After leaving the monastery, which had complained that he winked too much, Mark returned to Chicago to live and work with Franciscan friars in soup kitchens and half-way homes in the Uptown ghetto of Chicago. During this time, he matriculated at Loyola University and earned both an AB Classics and an MA Latin degree, spending his final summer in Europe researching medieval manuscripts. After graduating, he moved to Colorado to teach at Regis High, a Jesuit Catholic high school.
Three years later, he returned to Chicago, joined the Jesuits and for the next five years studied for the priesthood. With the Jesuit’s encouragement and support, however, he eventually rediscovered his love of the visual arts, and instead of reading theology and philosophy, Mark taught himself how to manipulate photographs and scanned images with the computer using a revolutionary new software program called "Photoshop."
After leaving the Jesuits to pursue his true calling, Mark was hired as Publication Designer by University College of Northwestern University, which had already purchased a series of his watercolor paintings. Three years later, he left Northwestern and moved to Richmond, Virginia to create and manage a design studio for The Arnold Agency. Three years after that, Mark left Arnold to start his own company, Mac Of All Arts, an all-purpose design firm. Mac Of All Arts eventually metamorphosed into McRumi Studio, Mark’s current endeavor, which specializes in photo retouching, digital artistry and collaborative portraiture.
Mark has worked in the advertising world on and off since the age of 14, when he began as an agency mail boy. He has taught English, Latin, and Art on the secondary level, digital design at the graduate level and lettering workshops as far away as New Zealand. His abstract calligraphy has been published in Letter Arts Review and has been used to illustrate a book of Haiku poetry.
Mark currently lives in the Bellevue area of Richmond with his dogs Chase and Charlie. He earns his living as a digital retoucher and artisan, exploring new frontiers of digital artistry, which he has termed "pixography." Some of his current creative work is now available in greeting card form, both online and locally at Mongrel. His new web site, mcrumistudio.com, will soon feature and market a full selection of his pixographs.
Tonight They All Dance, Dirk Sacré, ed., 1999.
SaySo cards: www.detango.com