The Syracuse Paintings
Darcy Gerbarg’s latest body of work, The Syracuse Paintings, were
painted in a Virtual World. They benefit from her long-time
practice, in acrylic paint, that employs large gestures Her
formalist approach, focusing on color and where it sits in space,
on a two-dimensional picture plane, comes from her earlier, large
scale, acrylic paintings.
Using the 3D paint system, Tilt Brush, Gerbarg makes expressive
strokes of color with digitally simulated brushes, that she selects
for size and other attributes. Wearing 3D goggles, in what appears
to her at the time, as an empty black space, she paints a 3D
painting, in colored light, around herself.
But this is just the first stage in Gerbarg’s process. From there
she takes edited snapshots” of views of this 3D painting: inside,
outside, from above, from below, down from the top, bottom and
across. These images are then further edited and manipulated
digitally in PhotoShop to create the final images that will be
printed out, at Light Work, using large scale printers, on 42” or
60” wide canvas rolls.
It was in 1979 that Gerbarg started using computer graphics
technology to create Art. She worked with user friendly,
interactive color paint systems, alongside the computer scientists,
in the research and computer animation laboratories, where these
systems were being developed.
Until that time, Gerbarg was primarily using pigmented paint
mediums to make large paintings on canvas. Frustrated with the
limitations of physical mediums and believing that the leading
artists of each generation were using the latest technologies
available in their fields, she set out to find the latest
technology for the visual arts. She was familiar with electronic
music and thought there would be a counterpart for the visual arts.
As a painter, Gerbarg was not interested in moving images, so she
did not focus on digital animation or video which were also just
then being invented.
From the second Gerbarg first used a paint system, she knew it was
a tool that could serve her sensibilities. It was direct,
controllable and seemingly infinite in its capabilities. Her art
practice since that time, in 1979, at the New York Institute of
Technology, is the record of her explorations using this new
digital medium, the development of the medium itself and its
applications in the production, and fabrication of art works, in
many traditional art media.
Gerbarg has been an artist in residence and a visiting artist at
several research laboratories, including both the Robotics and
Manufacturing Research Lab and most recently, The Future Reality
Lab, at Courant Institute for Mathematical Science, NYU; MAGI
SynthaVision; and the NYIT Computer Animation Lab; among others, on
both US coasts.
In addition to making art, by mounting art exhibitions for SIGGRAPH
initially, and then elsewhere, giving talks and presentations
internationally, and as an adjunct professor at New York
University, the School of Visual Arts, the State University of New
York at Stoney Brook, among others she has also been active in
promoting the use of digital technology in the arts
Gerbarg continues to show her work in group and one person
exhibitions. Her work is currently available through Mark Borghi