Once I had really developed the “wrecking” method, it freed me from one categorical rule I had had before. Prior to mastering wrecking, I didn’t like the idea of using any images that had recognizable figures or buildings or really anything that would take away from pure abstraction. I like abstract expressionism, not impressionism or making slightly abstract renderings of things. This is the influence of Malevich in me. Once I could essentially turn any image into totally abstract wrecked textures, I ran with some experiments using paintings by Raphael, Winterhalter, Brueghel, and others. I kept their colors but otherwise tried to turn their work into totally unrecognizable patterns of glitch. Usually I still ran an ASDF sort on them once they were done to simulate some depth or just because I liked how it looked. Semantically, this also added a layer – because it’s very much a statement on how the influence of the past gets destroyed and melted down and if we see it at all, we are only really seeing the flavors of the past. Does a normal public school education still teach us to love Raphael? Should it? If it doesn’t, does it make his work any less seminal? So there were a few series in the “fragments” theme, some with the proper name “fragments_of_a_” and some that just fit the style.
Another major series and theme that followed on this was reviving the aphophatic (i.e. the idea of the unknown, the negative approach to purer knowledge) motif and isolation therapy. I made a few short series of works that explored darkness and these fragments to explore the idea of the unknown and what it meant to have flashes of inspiration that nevertheless only point in the direction of a more true darkness. There are folders and archives of work named after Ps. Dionysius, or the infinity and isolation therapy jokes (which I loved) from I Heart Huckabees – in general, with a few exceptions, the approach to wrecked textures mixed with geometry branched into two major series dealing with the unknown and with history, and I suppose also space and cosmic themes.
SalmonMatte Studios and Me
The previous explorations in “wrecking” opened up new avenues for collaboration, too. A lot of work was put together from working with people in a collective called The Convergence. What had changed on a fundamental level was my willingness to take something that was a finished product that someone else had made, and use techniques that were transformative enough that I felt it was a new thing I was making and not just a spin off of their work. This is when one of my collaborations, the work with Salmon Matte Studios was done. I took an acrylic pour image they sent me called “Iris” and wrecked it, masked it in geometry, sorted and added a border – and renamed it “technological_iris_1-4” because now it looked more like circuitry than acrylics. In a lot of ways this was the boom and success of my instagram account. It had grown slowly before then, but after “technological_iris” it started seeing reaches in the thousands. I believe a part of what made the series such a success was that I finally had enough confidence in an original technique that I dispensed with pixel sorting for that series (besides the border). It was something that no one else was doing, and SalmonMatte’s color choices and textures lent themselves so well to the re-purposing process that our collaborations have become a staple of my output. The second series I made with SalmonMatte ended up being the major project with The Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, and since then I’ve sold a few here and there as NFTs. I don’t intend to stop making those as long as the results are delightful and my collaborator enjoys making them too.
There’s also a few smaller series of this same style that I did with other sources – usually of my own crafting. I like them for different reasons, but I will maintain forever (probably) that SalmonMatte has that magic something when it comes to their color choices.