Ellen Sandor, Chris Kemp, Diana Torres, and Michael Cone
Digital PHSCologram Sculpture
Duratrans, Kodalth, Plexiglas
"Man Ray's solarized photographs of calla lilies not only parallel Mapplethorpe's own interest in floral still lifes, but in experimenting with photographic techniques and procedures as well."
Garden of Digital Delights is an homage to five unique artists who were inspired by flora culture, spanning innovations in vintage photographic processes, such as those explored by Man Ray, Imogen Cunningham and Robert Mapplethorpe, juxtaposed with video installation art by Nam June Paik and the computer generated imagery of Charles Csuri. Each panel is part of an electronic bouquet that lyrically connects these artists with nature, featuring virtual orchids and calla lilies that are illuminated as a digital sculpture reminiscent of Paik's Garden of Earthly Delights.
Man Ray is considered the father of process oriented photography, whose innovations with solarizing techniques revealed new ways to see the world with a painterly vision. Imogen Cunningham is a preeminent American photographer from California who worked with Edward Curtis and was a friend of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston who became known for her nude studies and botanical portraits. Robert Mapplethorpe is renowned for his photographs of male and female portraits and nude studies, and was inspired by Cunningham to capture the form of flowers, portraying them as natural sculptures with his camera. Nam June Paik is considered the father of video art for combining moving images with video and TV monitors that are often displayed as works of public sculpture. Charles Csuri is a pioneer of computer graphics art who was the first artist to receive a grant from the National Science Foundation. Previous collaborations with (art)n include Wondrous Spring, featuring an intimate floral study of color and light.
In 1930, Man Ray's "Calla Lilies" were first included in his 1934 publication, with James Thrall Soby entitled "Photographs by Man Ray 1920 Paris 1934." The book featured 105 images, including the photographer's Rayographs, portraits, nudes and many solarizations with annotations throughout by Man Ray, Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Tristan Tzara and Marcel Duchamp that helped introduce his work to an American audience. When Man Ray first discovered solarization (or Sabattier effect) like the photogram (or Rayograph) he began to work with it immediately as another way to paint with mechanical light. Inspiration struck in 1928 while working in the darkroom with Lee Miller. He described: "The technique itself was not important to me, I was interested in only the result; the technique enabled me to get away from photography, to get away from banality, what I seek above all is to escape from banality, and here was a chance to produce a photograph that would not look like a photograph."
"Garden of Earthly Delights," 1986, Nam June Paik, mixed media sculpture with seven TV sets, inscribed in Chinese "Electronic Garden" from the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection
"Calla Lillies," ca. 1930, Man Ray, 13 3/8" x 10 3/8" Vintage solarized gelatin silver print from the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection
Schwarz, Arturo (1977) "Man Ray: The Rigour of Imagination." Rizzoli International Publications, New York, New York.