Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mark Napier and John F. Simon at Digital Art Museum

Mark Napier and John F. Simon at Digital Art Museum

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Mark Napier.

BERLIN, GERMANY.- A melting Empire State Building or a digital display cabinet with glowing software still life – the animations of Mark Napier and John F. Simon show in an intelligent, playful way the various possibilities of digital art.

Both artists are internationally well established representatives of software art since many years and were shown f. e. in the Whitney Museum as well as in the Guggenheim Museum in New York. They develop the programs for their art works by themselves and consider this as the basis of their artistic ideas. For both, it is the first time that their work is exhibited in a German gallery.

For Mark Napier the Empire State Building has been a reoccurring theme for a couple of years in his artistic process. As a symbol of human megalomania and aspiration to power. In his works the artist lets the computergenerated construction fall in folds, burst, erect again by separating the steal grid inside the building from the outer skin. In the virtual space steal and stone become soft and deformable materials. It is a game concerning the illusion of human power and the resemblance with the World Trade Centre is omnipresent.

Mark Napier lives and works in New York. Trained as a painter he began early to distance himself from traditional techniques, to develop his own software and to discover the Internet as a platform for art. Art Works f. e. “Riot”, which simulates a browser, are only able to show their unlimited possibilities by interactivity, through public use. Mark Napier teaches at the New York University.

John F. Simon’s “Endless Bounty” reminds us od colourful display cabinet, in which the different parts of the picture change permanently by “folding down”. The fascination is created by the mixture of the sequences – the software effects unusual combinations between photorealistic scenes such as 9/11, aesthetic organic forms looking like riverbeds and traditional ornaments like in a struggle between nature and human creation. For this screenbased piece John F. Simon also designed the frame using software and laser-cutting.

John F. Simon equally lives and works in New York. He also began early to write his own software as a form of expressing art. Glowing colours are one of the characteristics of his work. Beside his virtula artworks John F. Simon experiments with software and laser in designing interior spaces such as a carpet with a repetitive pattern similar to M. C. Escher or colourful acrylic glass designs for windows. As one of his latest projects he decorated the shop window displays of a New Yorker department store with animations.

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