World Trees 1

Richard Maier

Los Angeles, United States

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  • Artwork Comments 5


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Artist's Description

The Fall 2011 series started out as something completely different than it ended up being, but ended up generating an enormous quantity of artwork on the way.

I originally planned to do a series of moon cities or bases with a similar look to my ‘Martian Fossils” series. I downloaded images of the moon’s surface from NASA and tried combining these with satellite images of Earth cities and farms. When this didn’t work, I tried generating some rectangular block shapes in ArtMatic. These didn’t work either but were really beautiful, so I ended up refining them to become the “Crystalline Squares”* series. Then I tried using 19th Century engraved maps. Nope. Lastly I tried running a kaleidoscope filter on some of the Earth photos and using those, but whatever I tried, I ended up with an abstract mess. I was intrigued by the look of the kaleidoscope images though, and ended up re-using that technique for the “Crystalline Reflections”† series.

What to do?! Well, the moon thing was clearly not working out, so it was time to switch ideas. I’ve forgotten where the idea of playing with the World Tree motif came from, but after a few false starts (like trying to generate fractal tree shapes that had ‘roots’ for a complete tree), I found that stock photos of barren trees worked well with some of my father’s ‘spin art’. I experimented with the look of the images quite a bit before I finally gravitated to the final look . Late in the project, I tried using some paintings where my father had dragged something through the paint, clearing a circle. Normally I find this sort of look too ‘deliberate’, but it worked perfectly to give a a kind of ‘halo’ to these mythic trees.

World Trees 1 incorporates images from Gus Maier and stock.xchng photographer Lars Sundstrom.

  • Please read the description of the “Crystalline Squares” series.

† Please read the description of the “Crystalline Reflections” series.

Artwork Comments

  • Kanchan Mahon
  • Richard Maier
  • Richard Maier
  • Bunny Clarke
  • Richard Maier
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