Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2 A.D.
Influenced by the Cubism of Picasso and Braque from around 1912, and springing from the era of Dada and Surrealism, the art of collage has a rich tradition practiced by such luminaries as Hanna Höch, George Grosz, John Heartfield, El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Steichen. In later years, Jean Dubuffet, Barbara Kruger, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and many others continued this aesthetic practice of combination, repetition and overlap.
One of the enduring conundrums in artistic practice is having to decide when a work of art is completed. In contradistinction to the so-called “decisive moment” of Cartier-Bresson, artistic expression can be a continuum with evolving recontextualization.
The genesis of this project relies on images culled from an expanding database of photographs taken over many years, recombining and rearranging disparate elements to form an entirely new iteration. These new photographic assemblages form the basis of unique permutations – hence the title “Neogenesis Two ”.(The original Neogenesis was a portfolio of inkjet gel transfers only).
In addition to the original assemblage, we employed an additive process and technique- injet gel transfer-to multiple images.(These images are highlighted with an asterisk in the margin for identification).
Inkjet gel transfer is a complex process utilizing the photographic collage as the basis or substrate. The starting collage is disassembled, and then rearranged by visual shapes, forms and colors. The separation into layers functions as an elaborate jigsaw puzzle that develops without predetermined form. Layers are inkjet printed onto digital emulsion transfer film, creating an image that is built up one layer at a time, until deemed visually and artistically complete. The layering process forms the new “original” one of a kind. These unique images are then digitally scanned for reproduction.
The expertise of Chris Lahti involving the inkjet gel transfers springs from his attaining an MFA in printmaking and working at Gemini G.E.L. for over ten years as Head of the Curating Department. His passion and knowledge of art has served him well as Instructor of Printmaking at the University of Southern California, and as the founder of the East County Printshop in San Diego. His dedication to meticulous technique results in producing superb images, showcasing his artistic sensibility.
The 16-and 17th-century Italian term non finito was employed to describe objects of art that were unfinished. Marcel Duchamp famously coined the phrase “definitively unfinished”, describing his seminal sculpture “The Large Glass” in l923, echoing the ancient Greek concept that art is always in a state of “becoming”. Contravening the aphorism “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), artistic imagination, like gravity, is a force that can never be denied.