About his art,
Brut Carniollusis a Slovenian photographer and visual artist, focusing in photography based digital collages and digital graphics. Being an image collector, his work leans towards documentary photography.
The small details in the forms and shapes drives his creative process with his goal being to draw out beauty out of something that is unseen on the surface. We caught up with him to see how he produces his work, what interests him in the printing process and how technology has affected his practice.
- Can you tell us about the process of how you create your digital art work?
- Depends. But in fact there are only two starting points of any of my artworks, a single photograph or a line of code. I do not consider myself a photographer, well at least not a photographer's photographer, since I am essentially an image collector. For me, a camera is a tool for harvesting images, almost unconsciously. Camera to me is what a pencil and a sketchpad is to a painter. Most of the time those images are just put on a side, waiting to be rediscovered sometimes even years after being taken. And then one day one of them calls out to me and the process begins. It may be just a simple cropping and a black&white conversion. But more often it's a start of a digital collage, which may involve not only my own photos but also imagery found in public sources and quite so often a piece or two of digitally generated graphics or even one of my own finished works, which makes me very eco-friendly art-recycling artist.
Sometimes there's a vague idea of where I want to go with this collage, but usually the final artwork makes itself using me as it's own tool of self-production. So when I look at my own work at the exhibition I enjoy it all over again analysing, deconstructing and rediscovering all the details new to me. Still, ever since I became aware of this urge to create art, there was this nagging voice in my ear nudging me towards discovery of that last little bit of whatever that could be considered as an art piece. This pushed me in the direction exactly opposite to that of making digital collages into a process that could ultimately be described as a shape mining. Poised to produce that piece of hypoallergenic, gluten-free post-conceptual ultra-minimalist organic abstract by means of reductive digital graphic.
Technically speaking, the process is near-final digital deconstruction of a single photograph. This deconstruction is in fact an exploration into the very first few moments just after the Big Bang as reflected in the memory of matter. Searching for shapes born in a moment of tremendous discharge, the exact moment when the unity of pre-existing universe experienced its first schism. At the same time a happy mishap of computer vision misrepresenting the reality and creative intervention of associative titling of the piece regardless of it's origin. Since this graphic is being created digitally it can be be presented in a number of ways from original digital prints of various sizes from tiny business card sized graphics all the way up to practical limits imposed by today's graphic and industrial printers, as well as presented digitally via various screens and projectors. Faux 3D or mixed 2D/3D installations are possible with an inherent assumption that these works essential existence is virtual by their nature, so in each and every instance they are being materialized is an approximation with all the particularities of the actual rendering process being a possible enhancement or re-construction of the original digital work.
- Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become a photographer and a visual artist?
- There was this primary school art teacher, a great watercolourist as I discovered later on, who found a way to discipline some of his more restless pupils (both of us actually) by locking us up after school into his study full of various art books. Flipping pages and pages of stranegelly beautiful pictures revealed a new, yet unseen world and started an insatiable hunger for discovering things of beauty and wonder in most unlikely places. Despite my teacher's efforts, I never managed to learn traditional artistic skills like drawing and painting, but he managed to show us other ways to express ourselves and was prepared to provoke and support our efforts, no matter how inept they may have been at the time.
- What was the first camera that you owned?
- Can't remember, but it was most probably my dad's old and beaten Woightlander 6x9 bellows camera, which is still sitting on a shelf in my living room. Right after that there was this wonderful Praktica. Computers only existed in SF at the time.
- Over the years, did you ever encounter people who were very difficult to shoot?
- Well, yes, but as everything about photography it's always a photographer's responsibity to find a way of presenting his vision using his camera. If you can't make a person comfortable, you won't get a good picture. Of course, some people are extremelly aware of the camera and will instantly put their camera faces on whenever they sense there's a photographer around. Those that are the most difficult to shoot are those who are either uncomfortable with the camera or, quite surprisingly, totally ignorant of the environment. With them it takes time and/or a very high-speed camera to even start learning the angle of approach.
- Which other artists or creative people inspire you?
- This may sound difficult to believe, but just about every single artist I meet in person is a source of great inspiration to me. And not only artists, every person passionate about one's own work. I am one lucky bastrad who gets to photodocument an International Fine Art Symposium called Slovenia Open To Art at Sinji vrh every year since 2012. And I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoy every single moment of it. Observing artists performing their artistry in front of my very eyes makes me ever so grateful for this incredible opportunity. And almost without noticing I learn a lot more than I could ever hope for and even get to learn a few tricks and steal some ideas in the process. Of course there are many artists I don't know in person whose work I love and admire, but they are just too many to mention.
- Do you find yourself more attracted to work that is not like your own, or work that has similarities to yours?
- This is a tough one. Work similar to my own is easy as I can understand either the process or the intention all too well, but in a way presents no challenge. On the other hand the work unlike my own, when I am able to dechiper at least a bit of it's inherent code, is almost inevitably a source of inspiration and a challenge. So, there must be something familiar in order to establish a relationship, but not too much. Which is why the net is so annoying trying to supply us with only what according to it's own algorhitms pleases us, and which is why it's so important to go away from the keyboard (AFK) and meet new artists as often as possible.
- Are you working on any new projects at the moment? Do you have a plan to exhibit your work in the near future?
- A number of projects spanning several years is being updated, worked on, despaired over, diched, rediscovered, frowned upon, being excited about, ripening, ... practically all the time. So there's new work being created every day, but it may spend a lot of time facing wall (figuratively speaking), in exactly the same way some painters treat their works, until it's either diched, re-cycled or finally recognised as worth facing the world out there.
View all artworks by Brut Carniollus