Daniel Gordon Gets Physical
What if the Internet had a body? In his DUMBO studio, artist Daniel Gordon photographs paper collages constructed from found images downloaded from the Web. “I like to think about what I’m doing as an optimistic version of appropriation,” says Gordon, who wonders if he can transport digital images into real life by giving them a physical form. The artist’s paper tableaus, rich in vibrant colors and vivid patterns, are transformed in the process of making a picture with large format cameras. “It’s a fiction and a truth at the same time,” says Gordon, whose early Flying Pictures series (2001–2004) created whimsical illusions of the artist in mid-flight. The film reveals the behind-the-scenes process of two of Gordon’s recent works—a silhouette of Ruby Sky Stiler (the artist’s wife) and the still life Blue Watermelon and Shell (2013)—from photographing in the studio to the final printing process with Anthony Accardi at Green Rhino in Williamsburg. Also featuring the works Toe Transplant (2006), Blue Face (2010), July 15, 2009 (2009), Portrait in Orange and Blue (2010), Crescent Eyed Portrait (2012), Portrait in Yellow Orange and Blue (2012), Tropical Still Life (2012), Portrait with Blue Hair (2013), Still Life with Lobster (2012), and Still Life with Fish and Forsythia (2013).
Daniel Gordon (b. 1980, Boston, MA; raised in San Francisco, California, USA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Interview by Jörg M. Colberg
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The Green Line
...Daniel Gordon's work has a gestural quality. It's not a Post-Modernism sensibility nor does it offer-up a deliberately impoverished reference to the original source inspiration. His is in many ways a painterly eye which finds photographic equivalences for the brush stroke, the density of paint, the inflection of light to depict the natural world and the human form...
ISSUE 1: DIALOGUES
Featuring Mikey DeTemple, Richard Kenvin, Ann Pibal, Michael Scott Moore, Danny Gordon, Mara Hoffman, Garth Weiser, Drew Heitzler, Rob Kulisek, Mark Mahaney, and more!
The 32-year-old artist makes photo sculptures—pictures of assemblages from magazine cutouts and printed images found online that he shapes into crude figures, portrait busts, and still lifes that call to mind the more lurid works of Cindy Sherman and Hannah Höch.
Photography Objet Manque
...Gordon has called his studio a “physical manifestation of the Web.” He embraces a slightly rough esthetic, saying that he is interested in “showing my hand and letting people see the imperfection.” In Portrait in Red, Blue and Green (2011), cut-out profiles cast silhouettes on surfaces behind them, making the third dimension of his setup explicit. Some of the images he cuts and tears apart are naturalistic, others have a glossy sheen and vibrant colors that create an illusion of slick digital effects, yet the overall quality of the construction announces, “Someone made this.”...
RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN, Daniel Gordon takes a sculptural approach to photography
...In fact, Gordon's deliberately gauche images look like the antithesis of Crewdson and diCorcia's polished work - but they also probe the boundaries between fact and fiction, questioning the veracity of photography and the nature of it's link with reality...
Daniel Gordon's Collage Grotesques
“I’m inspired by cooking and food, Matisse, and being in the ocean, among other things,” the artist Daniel Gordon says. Gordon’s photo collages, or, more accurately, pictures of sculptures made of photo collages, can look like layered casseroles of art historical references and finely diced printed matter. “I begin with an idea of something I’d like to make, search for images online, print them, and then construct a three dimensional tableau that is then lit and photographed with a large format camera,” he explains. Improvisation is central to his constructions, which combine newly found images with the scraps of old, previously used pictures, and often feature grotesque, cartoonish anatomies.
Gordon was included in MOMA’s seminal “New Photography” show in 2009, and his recent “Still Lifes, Portraits, and Parts” series is on view this month at Wallspace gallery. Here’s a selection.
Goings on About Town: Art
Gordon constructs assemblages out of magazines and then photographs the results in lurid color. The portrait busts, which dominate his show, are unstable patchworks of facial features, hanks of hair, bits of blue-, red-, and peach-colored skin, and other random body parts that draw upon Romare Bearden, Hannah Hoch, and punk graphics. Still-lifes—tulips and zinnias in crumpled paper vases, lumpy clementines tumbling from a bowl—mock tradition without trashing it. Weird beauty and cartoon grotesquerie flip back and forth like a lenticular image, keeping us happily off-kilter. Through Dec. 17.
Through December 17
619 W. 27th St., New York, N.Y.
The subject of Woman with a Blue Eye (all works cited, 2011)—like all the “sitters” for Daniel Gordon’s recent portraits—is a bust built from photographs. The woman they form is scarred with seams and rifts. One of her eyes is bigger and more brightly blue. Her hair is blonde and thickly pixelated in some spots, softly unfocused and brown in others. A purplish pattern—blue particles emerging from a red field like sandpaper’s grit—interrupts the skin in a swath of color from the right temple to the left cheek.
Talia Chetrit and Daniel Gordon: Tony Wight Gallery
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Photo Journal–Daniel Gordon–Taking Flight
I can fly. I just can't do it for very long. I began taking photographs of myself in flight about ten years ago, when digital cameras were becoming easily available. Because digital images are so simple to alter on a computer, I wanted instead to manipulate photos the old-fashioned way: light through a lens exposing an image on film. This allowed me to make pictures that were at once documents of the truth and a visual fiction.
The New Collage: How photographers are rewriting our stories
Collage historically has used simultaneous viewing to belie the notion that photography is truthful. Multiple photographs juxtaposed present multiple truths. The Internet, however, has scrambled the way we interpret the stream of images we encounter there.
Off The Shelf: Flying Pictures
If I could choose one superpower, it would be flying. My new three-year-old acquaintance Adam, who was wearing Superman pajamas (complete with cape) when I met him the other night, agrees. As he flitted around his apartment, cape flying, he seemed almost to soar. Regrettably, I never had Superman pajamas, but I spent many a summer day dashing to the edge of the swimming hole near my home. When I reached the edge I’d jump and close my eyes: for an instant, I was flying.
When I asked the photographer Daniel Gordon the superpower question, he promptly replied, “Compressing TIFF files into JPEGs with my mind.” But Gordon hasn’t quit trying to fly just because he’s a grownup. For five years, Gordon roamed the lush countryside of the Hudson Valley, staking out pretty take-off spots. When he found a landscape that caught his fancy, he would return with a large-format camera and tripod, leap into the air and—with the help of an assistant—capture his ephemeral flight on film. The most triumphant of these images comprise his book “Flying Pictures.”
Bild-Körper: Fotografie als Form
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Four Books That Consider the Future of Art
Wonder and innocence motivated the recent Yale School of Art graduate and photographer Daniel Gordon to create Flying Pictures. Armed with nothing but courage, his camera, and long underwear, he spent 2001 to 2004 in New York’s Hudson Valley and Northern California’s Bay Area in front of his tripod shooting his leaps into the air in 125ths of a second.
This Month Dazed Gets Playful With Five Artists Who Refuse To Grow Up
Gordon's fusion of landscape photography and performance art awakens nascent superhero fantasies that have long been crushed by the constraints of reality. And he does it all without the help of Photoshop. "When I started making these pictures, Photoshop was really blossoming in the photo community," he recalls. "I was interested in pursuing a project that would showcase traditional methods of manipulation with straight photography. I can fly, just not very well."
Goings On About Town: Art
The young artist, whose pictures of collaged constructions are in MOMA’s “New Photography,” shows earlier work here, some of which was made while he was still an undergraduate at Bard. The pictures are modest in scale and most appear, at first glance, to be rural landscapes: lush green fields, hills covered with wildflowers, a grassy lot patched with snow. But each also depicts a figure suspended in midair—it’s Gordon himself, attempting to fly like Superman. Shirtless and in long johns, the artist is a diver prepared for a belly flop, but for this frozen moment he’s in a state of ecstatic abandon, and we’re right there with him. In a few particularly lovely pictures, Gordon is no more than a tiny speck on the distant horizon, no bigger than a fly. Through Nov. 14. [Koenig Projekte, 541 W. 23rd St. 212-334-9255.]
Into The Darkroom, With Pulleys, Jam and Snakes
...For other artists photography is the final stage of a process that might be called sculpture or collage in a different context. Before he pulls out the camera, Daniel Gordon makes crude figurative sculptures from cut paper and Internet printouts. The body (often a female nude) slips back and forth between two and three dimensions. Mr. Gordon has a gift for cruel-comic exaggeration that’s reminiscent of Cindy Sherman and the Dada photomontage artists John Heartfield and Hannah Höch...
Week 26: Daniel Gordon
Talia Chetrit: Where does the imagery in your collage work come from? Are they based on moments from your life or are they fictional? And would you consider these to be tableaus or do the images build a narrative?
Daniel Gordon: I make my pictures alone in my studio, but I view my work as a peculiar collaboration between myself, and what I’ve chosen as my material: Images found on the Internet that I print and construct into a 3-dimensional tableau, that is ultimately photographed. This process presents limitations as well as unexpected direction and it is in this way that I don’t anticipate a pictures meaning or formal qualities before I begin to make it. Instead, I let the criteria of the process guide the subject matter, discovering what the work is about as it comes to life. So I guess I’d say that even if the imagery I’m attempting to depict is taken directly from my life experience, the process of making allows for a kind of improvisation that often takes the construction to a fictional place. As far as a narrative is concerned, I’m more interested in creating a mood or playing with a particular theme than I am in creating a story. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how meaning can be made not only in each particular image, but in the space between them–I think that’s where the strongest indication of a narrative is in my work...
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White Hot March 2009
...For me though, it's the things that give away the illusion that complicate things, and make the pictures more interesting. Recently I've been pushing my pictures more and more in the direction of revealing as opposed to concealing. So when I talk about magic, I'm really just talking about how amazed I am at what the camera can do. When I think about illusion on the other hand, that seems to be more about the artist’s hand...
Excerpt from interview with Brad Phillips
Daniel Gordon Interview
EG: I think that your photos articulate a very contemporary, very ambivalent grasping for bodily experience. Most people in this country aren’t in danger of violent attack, nor do they use their bodies in a way that increases their awareness of them. You can watch Saddam being hung on YouTube or see photos of killing in Darfur, yet we have no way to square these images with our own lives. In your work there is a recurrence of deformed, battered or otherwise pieced together figures. These models are disturbingly corporeal, even as they remain clear constructions. All their angst resides literally on the surface. Can you talk about your use of the figure in relation to your photographic process?
DG: I think the body has always been a present subject in art making. Using the human form is universally a way to relate to people, and its’ possibilities are endlessly engaging. I try to use the body as a tool to create an environment where one might identify, feel disgust, anger, empathy etc., and be aware of their own physicality. Instead of setting intentions, I’ve tried recently to discover the literary form, or it’s “meaning”, as I go along. Of course, being a member of the world I am influenced by media and images like anybody else, but I’m not trying to make overt political or social references. Basically, my work is intuitive.
A World of Scissors and Paper That’s Captured in Photographs
Daniel Gordon's large color photographs, the subject of a solo exhibition at Zach Feuer Gallery in Chelsea, have several things going for them. They operate in the gap between collage and set-up photography, which is a lively place to be at the moment. They benefit from an impressive if not entirely original way with scissors that involves creating figurative tableaus from cut paper and cut-out images that Mr. Gordon then photographs. In addition, he seems motivated by a deeply felt obsession with the human body and the discomforts of having one. Not for nothing is this show titled "Thin Skin II"...
For “Thin Skin II,” his first solo show at LFL, Daniel Gordon presents photographs of collages and sculptures—both composed of other photographs. Each is a tight diorama of figures in a stated narrative, like Bee Eater (all works 2007), a head whose face is covered in bees, likely the ones that he will consume, against a patterned sofa.
Tour de Force
Three aisles below sits Zach Feuer Gallery of Chelsea. There, you'll see Manhattanite Daniel Gordon's labor-intensive concepts— he constructs 3-D scenes out of photographs and then reshoots them. Gordon makes small moments (suchas a guy shaving) seem terribly important.