“3 weeks ago” Charles Broskoski uploaded a diptych of images, each of which depicts a digitally-created still-life composed in a painterly style.
One views, in the first of these images (the image to the left of the diptych), a vertical composition composed of an open door which itself frames—in the foreground–an arrangement of fruit situated on a small end table and—in the background–the obstructed view of a window.
Additionally it should be said that these figurative elements are themselves each carved out in chunky, geometrically-legible units of color.
In the second of these images (the image to the right of the diptych), one views a similar composition whose differences with the first are localized to shifts in color and re-considerations of the given shapes of objects (perhaps most notably in the cubist-inspired centerpiece of the fruit arrangement).
Now, one might say that Broskoski’s model here is not necessarily an arrangement of objects in space, but rather, an art-historical style—say, Fauvism.
And these particular works are apt studies of the style; they’re well-executed and have a certain aesthetic appeal.
But, that said, whereas the Fauves (“The Wild Beats”) were notorious for depicting objects in space in an un-realistic manner (or, alternatively, mutating their own definition of “realistic”), Broskoski’s pair of paintings here lack that sort of “shock effect.”
Indeed, one’s mind apprehends each image here less as a phenomenological entity and more as an icon reading as “painting” or “art” or “art history.”
Now, that said, the fact that these images do not catalyze the shock effects which, say, Matisse’s work catalyzed in its own time should not be surprising.
After all, Matisse’s work was once contemporary, but is now safely at home in Ikea or Pier One Imports; it’s been absorbed and neutralized into the flow of commodofied signage.
So, where does this leave Broskoski?
Well, to start, this diptych—as it is displayed on his website, anyway—is situated directly below another diptych which itself is housed under a heading reading “2 weeks ago…”
In the lower-most image of this second diptych, one views iconography reading less as painterly or in reference to any other art historical style than it does digital and visionary.
One views what might be taken for a 3D “metal fence” (3D in the sense of digital “3D animation” not trompe-l’oeil ) through which undulating chunks of lightly-shaded colors which might be taken for “stingrays” pass through and intermingle with small, concentric circles of color which might taken for “eyeballs.”
And, in the upper image of the diptych, one views a similarly surrealistic arrangement of iconography; however, in this case, the icons do not read solely as “painterly” or solely as “digital,” but rather as a collision between the two.
The background and immediate foreground here are composed of graffiti-like scribbles created with a tool that automatically re-produces this “real world” effect, and the middle-ground of the image is composed of a series of “3D” representations of what one might take to be “vertebrae” extending not in a straight line (as in a spine) but in a wild swirl throughout the space of the image (as in a nightmare).
It should be said, though, that as with the images in the diptych mentioned above, these more digitally-inflected images are themselves each well-executed and sort of privately powerful, but perhaps lack the bodily shock effects which the various avant-gardes of art history are interested in.
Which would be fine—perhaps Broskoski isn’t interested in that sort of thing—were it not for the fact that, if one is up for it, there’s another way to view what’s going on here with its own unique shock:
When the artist places these paintings in conjunction with one another and in the context of an on-going stream of paintings which a viewer might follow (as in a performance) on his website, the viewer’s lens on the work here is nudged away from each of the individual images and closer towards the legible pattern of filtration through which the individual images stream.
The shock of shifting one’s lens from such simultaneously well-executed and differently well-executed images creates a space of indeterminacy—a sort of surrealist heterotopia picturing less space than movements in time.