Michael Dayton Hermann: Oil-Paint Photoshop

THE DAILY PIC: At Frances Saint Charles, Hermann takes Old-Master liberties.


THE DAILY PIC (#1569): I’m hardly the first person to notice that digital technology is bringing about a convergence of photography and painting, but that truth was brought home to me when I visited an exhibition of works by the New York artist Michael Dayton Hermann, now showing at Frances Saint Charles gallery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Hermann has taken digital enlargements of found photos, digitally printed them onto canvas and then added fantastical elements to them in oil paint, often in riffs on the Old Masters. Looking at Hermann’s works – especially today’s Daily Pic, titled Flowers for Atticus – I suddenly got new insight into what the Old Masters themselves had been up to. They weren’t so much inventing from whole cloth, out of the imagination, as conveying the reality of the world to viewers via their era’s latest imaging technology, which allowed them to embellish and alter as they saw fit.

The ideal of the unmanipulated, truthful photographic image only held sway in our culture for a brief, parenthetical moment. (Courtesy Michael Dayton Hermann)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

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