A playful exploration of digital art in an analog world
“Being too young and possibly too sheltered as a child to actually be a hippie, I was still drawn to the visual esthetic of the bright colors and swirling shapes of psychedelic and op-art as well as their predecessors of geometric abstraction. Pop culture showed me Peter Max with his bright colors and bold shapes. Forays into the library introduced me to the geometric constructions and spatial distortions of Victor Vasarely. Later, I found Agnes Martin’s repetitive meditations.
High school geometry introduced me to the compass as a tool to create with precision, if only I had the discipline to keep my work neat enough to satisfy my perfectionist tendencies. A decade later, with the advent of the Macintosh computer, its accessible interface and immediate accuracy, I found my artist tool.
The vibrancy of color through a monitor outshines the real world, making my digital playground a place of personal experimentation and even joy. But a challenge presents itself when trying to take the artwork out of the computer and into a physical form. I watched the world of printing digital artwork go from the plotted output of Vera Molnár, to the dot-matrix printers of early home computing, to the sophisticated machines of present day. Archival inks can now load modern printers capable of turning digital experimentations into museum-quality prints, as well as outputs onto fabric and other tangible items.
I took this challenge on and am presenting my digital work in a variety of physical forms for this exhibition. There are large format tapestries printed with state-of-the-art technologies, animated pieces in digital picture frames, archival pigment prints and even a jigsaw puzzle!”
Seven lined velvet wall hangings that together create a large scale tapestry. Each panel measures 70 x 40 inches.
Water Dance, Slot Canyon, Hot Springs
Archival pigment prints on Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag, 15 x 28 inches each
Contrast Series: Circle Contrast, Flowing Contrast, Structured Contrast, Stark Contrast
Archival pigment prints on Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag, 20 x 20 inches each
Pickup Sticks Series: Chaos 1-3 and Order 1-3
Archival pigment prints on Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag, 11 x 11 inches each
Looping HD Videos: Down the Tunnel, Running Squared, Pickup Sticks Spiral, Twist Polar, Circle Weave, Twist Rainbow
Los Angeles art critic Genie Davis wrote about the exhibition:
…Karen Hochman Brown’s Digital Playground is another masterful step in the artist’s immersive photographic work. Her digitally manipulated images are fierce in color and delicate in pattern, exotic but meditative as she highlights, twists, reflects, and recreates mysterious and magical geometric shapes filled with light…
Instead of a traditional artist talk, Karen spent an hour in conversation with fellow artist J.T. Burke discussing the different ways they present their digital art in an analog world.
Digital Playground exhibited January 19 – February 12, 2022
5458 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
About Karen Hochman Brown
Karen Hochman Brown is a Los Angeles-based photographer using software to manipulate her photographic images. In her signature style, Hochman Brown bends nature photographs into multi-layered kaleidoscopic constructs. The work is sensitive to the inherent beauty of the subjects as she strives to magnify that quality through focus and repetition. The resulting geometric forms resonate in harmony and discord, creating unique energies. Other work includes a process she calls synthesized photography. The work is a collaboration between her vision and the possibilities available through the pallet of graphics software.
Hochman Brown studied art at Pitzer College, California College of Art and Art Center College of Design, but self-developed her processes through experimentation, relying heavily on skills learned as a graphic designer. Inspirations include Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, and René Magritte.
Hochman Brown has had solo shows with Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH), The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Santa Barbara, CA, Gallery 825 and TAG Gallery Los Angeles, California Center for Digital Art, Santa Ana, CA, The Gallery at Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia, CA, Yuma Art Center, Yuma, AZ. She has participated in numerous group shows in the Los Angeles area and throughout the United States.