THOMAS GILLANT










How do digital tools and flat screens affect the way we engage with the medium of painting? The Deep Fugazis series continues to explore recurring themes of previous bodies of work, such as the relationship between hand-painted and digitally- created mark-making. The paintings also address the aesthetics of computer-generated images, including imagery created by AI, deep learning technology.

To reflect this interest in the mechanical and technological, the surfaces of the paintings are utterly smooth, working against conventional painting textures such as impasto application of paint or canvas fabrics.

The sprayed lines are repetitive, uniform and blurry with areas of amorphous clouds of color. Each is a physical re-enactment of the frictionless experience of digital drawing, which many of us experience through our table, smartphone touch screens.

Without a focal point to anchor the image, these paintings work as adapted color fields, resisting clear identification. The minimal palette of dark colors reinforces this opacity. Abstract patterns, blocks of color and scattered marks are ordered into an intuitive framework, paint is scrambled and reworked into correlating yet distinct designs.

The process of making each work also follows the ‘on the fly’ motion of AI deep learning tools, where images are automatically generated, gradually in real-time, starting from blurry monochromes to more refined, yet formulaic, compositions.

The paintings of the series play with an insubstantial and decorative quality, having distinctive designs yet remaining informal. They seek to find equilibrium between distinguishing, idiosyncratic details and generic feel. This aim is a dialogue with the reassuring air of artificially generated imagery, based on the blending of (learning from) many other images. In itself the birth of AI imagery is a dedication to all the hand-created imagery made before, a reflection of forerunning culture, but remains, in a way, plagued by shallowness and ultimate inauthenticity.