Friday, October 12, 2007

A Small Problem

How, with such an innocuous thing as this computer, can I make something larger-than-life? That’s the hardest thing for me. Back in the day, I painted on huge canvases: I specifically painted in large format for a reason. It was easier to take it seriously if my creation was larger than me. Painting a “work of art” that was physically smaller than me made no sense: isn’t art a shot at immortality? Don’t you want it to outlive you? Shouldn’t the image be more recognizable than you, more grandiose, literally larger than life? I was never one for collecting precious trinkets, so I didn’t relate so much to tiny art, as some of my peers did. This is the primary reason why digital art is hard for me: because it’s so small while I’m working on it. Sure, I know that when I’m done it can be projected onto a two-story movie screen, or printed up billboard-size, but it’s hard to feel that, when while you’re working on it you’re hunched over a glowing monitor pushing tiny pixels around inside a 22-inch box. I pray for the day a wall-size monitor can be affordable - preferably a Cintiq-style pressure-sensitive monitor that I can paint on. Standing up, with sweeping arm gestures. The return of mural-making. Is that asking too much?

What am I listening to as I hunch over my tiny monitor today? Lizard, King Crimson 1970. Almost a concept album: Peter Sinfield’s cryptic lyrics hint at some kind of Medieval Circus metaphor throughout. Musically, the album presents the perfect marriage of Prog-rock excess, psychedelic wackiness, and Jazz-tinged orchestration. Yes’s Jon Anderson makes his falsetto cameo, while Gordon Haskell’s warbly voice carries the rest of the album through layers of electronic distortion (years before Perry Farrell exploited the same technique to famously bolster his own warbly voice). All in all, my favorite Crimson album. Makes me smell the incense of my old painting studio.

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