The idea for this series was conceived while viewing pieces from the Elisabeth Dean Collection, La Belle Epoque, at the Fresno Art Museum, which includes over 1000 pieces of French graphic art from the 1880’s to the 1900’s. I thought it would be interesting to create new works based upon the antique prints using contemporary technology.
I consulted with Jaquelin Pilar, Fresno Art Museum’s Chief Curator, and she set up a meeting with Elisabeth Dean to discuss the project. The three of us initially met at the museum. Our discussion about the proposed project was sparked with genuine enthusiasm. At that meeting, I made an appointment to drive down to Ms. Dean’s home in Porterville, California, to view and select pieces to work with from the collection. On a subsequent trip to Ms. Dean’s, I took my laptop, scanner, and camera and digitized over a dozen small prints, six antique medallions, and an Impressionist sculpture.
Once home in my studio, I began playing with the digitized imagery from Ms. Dean’s collection on the computer in software programs such as Adobe Photoshop®, Synthetik Studio Artist®, and Corel Painter ®. I combined images from La Belle Epoque with historic pieces from my own collection of art source material, which includes antique books, prints, postcards, and photographs. My idea was to layer and blend varied (visual) historic documents digitally, creating new images that function metaphorically for theories in contemporary physics, like the quest to reconcile the quantum (microscopic) world with cosmological (macroscopic) views of the universe in what is called Quantum Gravity (the theory that unifies quantum theory with Einstein’s general theory of relativity).
Each piece in the New Histories series is an artifact of my own exploration, study, and reaction to current scientific concepts and theories about: discrete space, lattice theory, Planck scales, relativity, spacetime, string theory, the causal structure of the universe, the texture of reality, etc.
A consistent element found in every piece is the rainbow gradient, which symbolizes the visible spectrum, theoretical & experimental physics, energy, world peace, diversity, and my love of color.