Comments/Context: Back in 2005, Clifford Ross made what seemed like a traditional landscape image of Mount Sopris in Colorado, complete with dense forests, a reflecting lake, and a lofty peak. What was original about this image was its staggeringly immense detail; using a specialized camera, Ross was able to pack in an enormous amount of visual information to every inch of the photograph, at all depths and locations, much like a Daguerreotpe. The viewer can get closer and closer to the image without losing any depth of detail; as a photograph, it's a bit of a technical marvel, taking realism in new directions.
The video on view takes this idea to another level, aided by a wide variety of computer animation tricks. The single piece of the forest becomes a 3D grid made of layers and towers, which is then spun into a rainbow colored tornado of little fragments, and on and on through various renderings; it's like the graphics department went a little wild and the turned the photographic image into a high tech TV advertisement using every cool visual tool in the toolbox.
To my eye, these images work better as intellectual concepts than they do as photographs. The idea of taking one hyper realistic image and having it become the basis for a riff on abstraction is intriguing, and watching the image morph through various stages and patterns of evolution is perhaps entertaining in a sense of organic random growth, but in the end, the pictures didn't get beyond clever computer gimmickry for me. That said, for those who are interested in breaking down the edges of photographic visualization via computer rendering, this show is worth a visit for a deep dive into bleeding edge process.
Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)
- Artist site (here)
Through July 29th
Sonnabend Gallery (artnet page here)
536 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011