Culture

Sebastian Gladstone Makes Physical Art Look Virtual

The artist's digital paintings are like miniature island utopias—shiny, colorful, and bright, but with something uncanny looming in the distance.
08 October 2015, 8:20pm
No Face, No Fear via, Image courtesy of the Artist and Ed Varie

Sebastian Gladstone’s digital paintings are like miniature island utopias—shiny, colorful, and bright, but with something uncanny looming in the distance. These large-scale pieces are filled with 3D renders of amusement parks, serene corporate buildings, and waterfall screensavers that feel like perfect dives into unfinished worlds.

Unlike most digital paintings, Gladstone’s works are printed onto brushed Dibond aluminum with UV flatbed printers, a material that gives the pieces a dull reflectivity that references the sterile sheen of a MacBook Pro. When hung, the digital paintings are mounted onto shadow frames that give an IRL drop shadow effect and echo Gladstone’s collaged imagery of the digital favorites—from gradients to Gothic typefaces.

BURN3DDDDD, Image courtesy of the Artist and Ed Varie

Gladstone began making these digital paintings while he was working in Los Angeles during the winter season. He said he was without a studio space, so he started to experiment with digital paintings. He tells The Creators Project, “It almost started out of necessity to continue to make work, but as soon as I started I couldn’t stop, and worked on them nonstop for about six months.” He mentioned that he even had to buy a new computer because each piece takes up about 2gb of hard drive space.

Photobook 1, Image courtesy of the Artist and Ed Varie

When asked about the process of making these paintings, Gladstone responded, “I scour the internet for imagery for hours, typically using tag words that relate to the piece I am working on. For example in Photobook 1, the pattern across the page actually says 'serenity' in a symbol font, so then I would do advanced image searches for images related to that. I then go into Photoshop and start putting things together. Its very similar to my oil painting technique in that it’s very intuitive and I don’t know what things are going to end up looking like. They get to a certain point where I stop and have to not look at them for a little while, and will maybe come back a few weeks to a month later and see how I feel then.”

The Giving Tree installation, Image courtesy of the Artist and Ed Varie

Image courtesy of the Artist and Ed Varie

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