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Biff Elrod: Superimposition    Apr 18 - Jul 31, 2013

Biff Elrod
Baby/Juggle, 2012
Edo Prescient
Biff Elrod
Edo Prescient, 2010
First Blues
Biff Elrod
First Blues, 2010
Full House
Biff Elrod
Full House, 2012
Second Sister
Biff Elrod
Second Sister, 2011-2012
Shanghai Pirouette
Biff Elrod
Shanghai Pirouette, 2011
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Contact: Donna Leatherman

Artist Statement

These recent paintings are conceived and constructed, using two images combined on one format to produce a third, hybrid image. This idea grew out of the static visual possibilities for painting suggested by cinematic scene transitions, such as the dissolve, or segue. Unexpectedly, it seems clear that the possibilities for multiple (photo derived) image overlay has not been developed in painting.

However, the familiarity of overlapped imagery cannot be denied. The overlap of two or more photo-derived images has long been familiar in the context of photography and cinema. Before these forms were developed, the idea existed in painting as far back as images found in prehistoric caves. Francis Picabia somewhat explored his own drawn version of this idea in the 1920's and '30's, but did not extend his research to use of photographic images. Although, it does seem possible that Picabia's work influenced cinematographers of the time.

In 2006 I used a photo I had taken of a sequence within a 1937 motion picture which used double exposed action to convey transition. At the particular second within the film when I took the still photo, the moving layers had produced a dynamic effect which was not evident in moving sequence. I interpreted part of this image into a passage in my painting titled "Sinema". I decided to explore the visual possibilities of one still image infringing on the format of another, and to map the possibilities of several literal images superimposed.

For my part, image selection is intuitive, and each has been culled from personal photos, and found images. The source images are never taken from a single 'double exposure'. That is, while constantly collecting images from everywhere, the ones selected as layers will likely have some personal significance. As images overlap, with varying degrees of transparency, they reveal a new, largely unexpected and evolved resultant image. Each of these source images continue to hold a degree of autonomy and definition, while forming the overall conglomerate. In the process of deciphering the finished painting, a viewer might follow contours or intersections of images, and switch from one overlapped image to the other, occasionally simulating two-frame animation. This approach presents the possibility of an image structure that is both literal and abstract, iconoclastic and associative. Most importantly, this is not photography or graphics, it is painting, which has always evidenced the possibility of an irreplaceable personal touch, and signature visual philosophy.

-Biff Elrod

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