In her solo show, Elementals, at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH), artist Karen Hochman Brown draws upon the elemental building blocks of life:
air (AER), water (AQUA), fire (IGNUS), and earth (TERRA). Hochman Brown alternately departs from the aluminum substrates on which her works have been previously printed. The mixed media works in Elementals are custom printed charmeuse, silk dupioni and include laser cut wood, acrylic and wool.
They have been designed on computer like Hochman Brown’s previous work but are presented using a combination of many techniques, tracing her history as an artist up to and including her use of a new tool, the Glowforge laser cutter. These new works are embedded with laser etched, hand painted QR codes that when activated by viewers, present interactive media such as the work’s source material and a video tracing its process of creation. The works in Elementals not only continue to push the boundaries of new media, but also highlight harmonious relationships between nature and humanity.
Elementals – a solo show of original artwork by Karen Hochman Brown
Four mixed-media banners accompanied by animations
Lancaster Museum of Art and History
August 4 to September 26, 2018
With each piece, I begin by importing a photograph into a modular graphics-synthesizer program where I implement a variety of algorithms. I use polar space, fractal space, assorted modulations, reflections, waves, distortions and symmetries to achieve each layer of my digital constructs. Using this technology, I draw out the essence of my subject, placing focus on details and developing an emotion through repetition and distortion. AER should feel like breath; TERRA is solid yet fertile; IGNUS is unstable and volatile; AQUA is powerful and ever-changing.
Presenting this work as fabric banners has given me a chance to return to the act of physically creating something. As a digital artist, I work at the computer. Most of what I produce never leaves the computer. When it’s time to print, the substrate then comes into play. For the last several years, I have been printing my kaleidoscopic work on metal. The result is vibrant and shiny. It is also very hard. So I am experimenting with some new toys (laser cutter) and some old toys (sewing machine) and creating something softer to buffer the noise that clutters our lives.