ROGER ARVID ANDERSON
BYZANTIUM SUITE, digital originals by ROGER ARVID ANDERSON
Roger Arvid Anderson is an artist of many mediums: sculpture, photography, painting, drawings and prints. This current body of work he calls DIGITAL COLLAGE. It taps into the new media options provided by computer software. These images are constructed using a grid format from arrangements of lens-based details. This means the cut and paste methodology of traditional collage can now now be done on a computer screen. Art is about choices, and from those choices of shape, color and content a file is calibrated for either printing or weaving.
The images in the BYZANTIUM SUITE are pattern-based and favor the elongated vertical format of the scroll tradition. They are inspired by textiles such as Navajo blankets, Oriental carpets, Japanese kimonos, Peruvian tunics and Chinese embroideries. This particular series elaborates and celebrates the opulent and the sumptuous. Both the title and mystical locale are drawn from the poem SAILING TO BYZANTIUM by William Butler Yeats. The poet dreams of shedding his aged body as he’s transformed instead into a golden bird set upon a golden bough where it eternally sings to the lords and ladies of the fabled city of Byzantium. Any of these images could be swatches of fantastic fabrics from the costumes of the imperial court, or fanciful designs for a window lattice overlooking the Bosporus, or colorful tapestries on a wall meant to cheer the eye of a drowsy emperor.
In a sense the theme of this suite is TRANSFORMATION, that is the transformation of humble details into fabulous rivulets of color and shape. The photographs that provided the elements for these PIGMENT PRINTS come from a fifteen minute shoot in the spring of 2012. The subject was an open-air stairwell to the High Line Park on the west side of Manhattan, as reflected at sunset in a warped wall mirror from a building slated for demolition, and now gone. Given the range of magical distortions of both the stairwell and skyline, the artist had to rush to snap as many details as he could before the sun disappeared. The digital files provided by the shoot are only the beginning of the creative process. From that palette of shapes and colors, angles are isolated and then married one to another. They can be flipped horizontally and vertically. The possibilities and complexities are limitless. The conceit of this particular series is that the artist has confined himself to those elements drawn from the shots taken during that sunset moment.