Peter Gregorio - Introduction

The speed of image making has grown far more advanced and complex then Walter Benjamin could have imagine since he wrote, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” in 1936. In addition to photography and film, we now have digital video and photography, copy machines, fax machines, printers, video projectors, and scanners. We even have video and photography in our cell phones. These new technologies have changed the way art is made, as well as the content of the art itself.

The artist Kelly Walker works with recycled images from art and culture. His work is a post neo-mechanical reproduction. He is taking images from media; already a visual sound bite, removed and isolated bits of reality, and then printing them into a poster. He uses images that have been used in art before. One of his photographs comes from a photo used in an Andy Warhol artwork. He is recycling an already appropriated image to make his work. It is an appropriated appropriation.

Walker using a scanner scans the wall of the gallery he has a show at and creates a new virtual wall made out of printouts of the scanning. This is a removal of authenticity into the image of the real. It is a manifested virtual world. This virtual world has become our world. We are playing video games, communicating with people on cell phones, being entertained by recordings of music regurgitated into computer codes then recycled back into sound and images. This is our world. We may spend a majority of our day in this reproduced world.

In the case of my work, I am making paintings on canvas out of oil mixed with pigments on cotton canvas with a plastic gesso base. This in itself is a form of advanced technology. To arrive at my content I use photography, which I then scan through a film scanner to digitize the burn of the image. Then I manipulate the images using advanced computer programming. This image that has been pumped through various forms of technology then becomes the template for the imagery in the paintings. I tend to think of this process the same way a mathematician puts numbers through a formula and receives a different set of integers, which can then be grafted at the conclusion of the metamorphosis.

We now arrive at the moment of the multiplicity of layers, which I think is actually closer to the nature of reality than we have ever been. Even now there are theories that state the possibility that the nature of reality is a holographic one, in which the information of things is different then the way things are perceived. Thus there may not be this three dimensional reality that we live in. In effect, it could be a reproduction of the state of things formulated through our senses, a form of [bio]mechanical reproduction.