Satire and Digital Painting (abstract automatism) by Ron Maubidea
  » Aug 02, 2021  



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Maubidea Interview by Putain d’art

Digital Painting ~ Automatist Digital Sculpture

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Interview and content © 2010 Putain d’art
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Part 1

It was mid-winter of 2008 when I first suggested this interview to Ron. The seed of what is here began with the Wikipedia article, Abstract Automatism (automatism abstrait du moment) as it was defined by the artist.

The Questions…

*Has there been much change in your approach to Digital Painting and Sculpture since 2008?

Not really… certain things become a bit clearer in terms of the software but generally speaking, the approach is still the same.

*I can see that in the new work, but elements inside the work do appear different somewhat.

There has been a progression in the technique… as I said; some elements of that approach get redefined as the “feel” changes with different and upgraded programs. These days, I have been starting new pieces with Photoshop CS. The tools are in different places and what exists in one version is absent in another. Not knowing where things are will change the momentum of a developing image.

More time = more thought, which translates to different considerations and possibilities.

*I don’t completely understand your point. Are you saying that common tools and brushes are missing in different versions of Photoshop?

They’re not exactly missing… but yes, of course I am. If Adobe wanted its customers to have every option available in their top of the line software, it would be like shooting themselves in the foot financially speaking! The lesser versions are for those users with simpler needs. People who wish to amp the colors or sharpen an image would do fine with a less expensive package.

*Do you currently own or use the Pro version of Photoshop?

No… never! It’s way out of my realm of general applications. Perhaps if I was engaged in print work or designing gift cards, it would have a real purpose and justify the additional expense.

*You employ the phrase “emotional color”, what does that mean exactly?

I guess the simplest explanation would be to refer to my observations when still in my teens. Back then, most of the art was collage. My bedroom was filled with them, the walls, the ceiling and the doors. A door (like a canvas), was actually the best place to construct one because the measurements are fixed, making the process much easier.

When I would step back to examine the image, certain flows of color became evident. Those color flows were part of what made up the "mood" different excerpts were projecting. The elements themselves (hand cut images), came from various sources like magazines and books. The print paper was different from source to source so the light hit your eye differently depending on the ink and the quality of reproduction.

The elements that were chosen, reflected different time periods and styles in art history and modern journalism.

*Was Fashion photography a big influence on your early work?

Honestly… I don’t think so (lighting a cigarette). Most of the images that caught my eye in terms of Emotional Color were those of abstract nudes and general weirdness. Dutch painter, Hieronymus Bosch would be a perfect example. The work of say… Helmut Newton would make most anyone stop turning a page and look closer. His work was passionately fashion oriented, sensual and of course uniquely tasteful . . . and abstract.

His depth of sensual content (bordering on the perverse), was unique in its own right. It wasn’t going to be a mass market commodity in any measure especially at the time his photographs were first being published. And for the greater part, I would say it appealed to people with darker sexual inclinations.

*Can you be more precise?

Darling, if I have to be more precise… what would be the point of this interview? I mean… why would anyone read this stuff? I will say this though, as a young boy he spent some time in a German Concentration Camp. Newton was also the son of a fairly well-to-do Jewish family, which owned some kind of a factory producing buttons for the clothing industry.

Considering the times, his existence paralleled that of an African American living in the Southern States during the 1940’s. That was a period of major oppression and racism in our history. People lived with the understanding that being of a certain ethnic group or gay, made you “subhuman” and a person of lesser value than say those of other orientations.

Considering that, I would say that his work was mostly about Freedom of Expression and having the ability to place the subject in situations that were otherwise taboo. His collections would probably be kept in someone’s library or bedroom. Not exactly the fashionable, Coffee Table decoration you might see today…

End of Part 1 . . .

Gallery image: Plutonium - Global Recipe for Destruction


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