With my transmutations series, which I recently presented at VRAF (Virtual Art Festival), I get down to the skeleton of my technique by creating my visions out of just one photo and nothing else, blending and mirroring it on itself wildly.
The essence of my quest is: can I transmute any photo, even the most ordinary and dull one, into art? Can I do it by using just that photo, without changing its essential forms, without any hand-drawing or other images involved, but only through photographic post-processing?
My first 4 transmutations were all based on real-life photos from fellow artists or from my iPhone library. My post-processing on those photos have varied from heavy to extremely heavy, but in all cases I preserved the “material” essence of the source photos, as to say the forms they portrayed in their original proportions.
In some special cases, I only need a small intervention to make a big difference. This is one of those cases.
For my 5th transmutation I used for the first time a photo of a painting, a very significant one for me: Mona Lisa (here is why). The transmutation I did of her was minimal, you can recognize it’s Mona Lisa… and yet she’s different!
My first impression was that she looked like she just had sex. From this, the unofficial title Mona Lisa after sex. She looks charged with eros and thanatos to an extent that you cannot see in Louvre’s Mona Lisa. This was achieved without drawing anything new, I used only the image of Mona Lisa, post-processed using mirrors, blending, and color filters. Nothing else.
Enough introduction: here is the artwork, in its video form.
Barabeke, Transmutation 5: Mona Lisa (video loop), 2020
I hope you can appreciate how, through a minimalist use of my transmutation technique, Leonardo’s masterpiece has found a new expression, which appears to me as not less powerful and haunting. I am simply the facilitator of this new vision, which I extracted from the same Mona Lisa through my magic mirror (as to say: my phone).
The full size is in 4K, with a much smaller QR code/artist’s signature (here used as watermark for online content: only one will own her in her full glory but I want many to see her new incarnation).
Happy to put my Mona Lisa after sex on a cryptoart marketplace that believes in it and can help me sell it for a headlines-making price, and to have it exhibited in a VR world art gallery that would treat it as a jewel on its crown. It’s Mona Lisa manifesting with a new look, after all. A new look that was dormant in her own image, existing as potential which I awakened through my magic mirror. She’s either a luxury or she’s free, there is no middle way.
Time to reap what I sow in 14 years of art for art’s sake, and try to earn from it. Time to knock at the art world’s doors, and claim my little place. In me lives the spirit of renaissance, and the one of modernism. Not exactly popular within the hypnotic media bubble we are trapped in, this vulgar circus of vanity and greed.
My spirit is projected towards our digital future, which I am trying to inspire in a humanist sense (for example with my revelations). I do the little I can, with every bit I have on my phone, to contribute to build a world dominated by kindness and beauty rather than greed and fear.
Please support my art, if you think it can be worth.