Guest Post: Lexie Kier
Guest Post: Lexie Kier // @a0k
I often get hung up on syntax. Talking to vs speaking with vs hearing from -- the tiny subtleties between these three gerunds always gives me pause but I generally land on "speaking with" since it's the with that is of real value. Not being spoken to or talked at or hearing from, but the togetherness of with. Do we wear our relationship on our faces while thinking about, talking to, or being with one another?
Technology extends that withness (if you will): Skype enables intimacy in conversations across continents. Artist Sandro Kopp's Being With You Skype portrait series captures this nuance in a stunning display of insight and sensitivity.
Originally a storyboard artist with acting experience, Sandro Kopp has a knack for revealing depth and bringing Lucien Freud-quality monitor light to his work. In an interview with Dazed Digital at his 6/13 involvement in Turkey's Instancool show, Sandro addresses what it is about the Skype portraits that is elusive in a photograph and touches on the inherent link between technology and art:
I don't quite understand it myself, but I think there is some sort of exchange that happens between the sitter, the painting and myself... It's about more than just a likeness.
[Technology and art] have always been linked. I remember Björk saying something really profound in an interview once that stuck with me...The interviewer was talking about how purely computer-generated music was soul-less and Björk said something like: "If there's no soul in the computer it's only because nobody has bothered to put any soul into it."
Bjork's call to action mirrors the intelligence of Sandro's paintings. And in that effort to bring soul into computers lies a complexity and a duality that makes Sandro's work so magnetic. There's something about the technology he depicts that both reflects a subject in a less static way than a photograph would and also touches on how technology is changing the degree of intimacy we have with art and artists as well. Through the window into the relationships that Sandro has with his subjects (his friends and Skype conversation partners), the artist himself becomes a part of the painting's interior. And all of that inspires me.