The slowness inherent to my working process doesn’t allow for much improvisation. However sometimes something happens that lets me see my work from a different perspective, opening up the possibility of taking it in another direction altogether, maybe even radically so. Most of the times what then occurs is that, after taking into consideration the path already followed and the implications of changing it, I stick to the original plan, but the doubt persists.
I believe that digital photography offers the possibility of bridging the gap between the speed of the hand and that of the mind, the thoroughness of painstaking work and the liberty of improvisation. The process consists in the beginning with a digital high resolution photograph of a pre-existing painting of mine which is then altered through digital retouching to the point I see fit. The result is printed on Kodak Ultra Endura paper which is then glued to a wooden board so I can work on it with paints from that point onwards. The digital image establishes the work’s new identity and the oil paints fix it.
If it is true, as they say, that photography has devoured painting, I don’t see why painting shouldn’t return the favor. By this I don’t mean using visual quotes with a post-modernist intent, but an actual devouring in which the devoured ends up becoming the very organic substance of that which devours it.