SAMI LUKKARINENHot or Not? 18.2.2005 – 6.3.2005
Hot or Not? is a series of painting of Finns who have uploaded pictures of themselves to Internet service sites for criticism. These sites contain hundreds of thousand of images, which in an honest and interesting fashion reveal how people see and wish to present themselves. In other words, the paintings are akin to portraits of individuals' images that have become public through the Internet. The exhibition also contains my first ever self-portrait.
In my art, I examine the relationship between digital image and painting. I believe digital images offer remarkable new opportunities to the art of painting. I use Photoshop image editing software to edit the images I have selected. I reduce the amount of information contained in the images, thus increasing the size of the pixels and bringing out more clearly the colour information. The final painting is created on either canvas or acrylic sheet on the basis of the edited images. I paint each pixel separately and seek to replicate the colour tones of the digital images as faithfully as possible. The materiality and slowness of painting provide a stark contrast to the swiftness, infinite number and lightness of the digital image.
I have been using digital images as a starting point for my paintings since 1999. Earlier projects have involved trains covered in graffiti, modern architecture and spam, the scourge of email.