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The Newest Additions To Quayola's Strata Series Come To New York

Strata #4 and Topologies open together at bitforms gallery.

by Abdullah Saeed
May 10 2012, 6:15pm

This week, bitforms gallery in New York begins an exhibition of two works by audio-visual auteur Quayola, including Strata #4, the latest in his ongoing series re-imagining classic artworks which we first presented at The Creators Project: New York 2011.

Strata #4 visually augments four classic works—Rubens’ Martyrdom of St. Catherine (1615), The Ecstasy of Mary Magdalene, (1619) The Descent from the Cross (1617), and Van Dyck’s Christ on the Cross (1628)—religious inspired master works that have become regarded as “icons of perfection.” In the Strata series, Quayola explores these visual monoliths by simultaneously enhancing and reconstructing their appearance through custom software.

In the series’ signature style, we see a variety of geometric pixels laid over the classic works, mirroring their hues, pulsing and flowing with an organic rhythm, bringing new life to the vivid biblical imagery. Strata #4 is less a film and more a new way to view art—an intricate remix of the past using the ways of the future, like Madlib entering the Blue Note vaults in search of samples.

Also on display will be Topologies. While also a part of the Strata series, this piece stands apart from the others by displaying fully transformed works rather than conveying the actual process of their transformation. Topologies derives from Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez’s 1656 Las Meninas and Giambattista Tiepolo’s 1767 L' Immacolata Concezione.

More on Topologies:

The Topologies installation boldly challenges, yet still submits to, the art object’s myth of perfection and aura, hanging in a church or museum. Transporting this beauty into a virtual realm, Quayola rigorously investigates the surface details of each object. Pure geometry and abstraction take over, as he reframes his subjects using a computational method of triangulation. In the format of a diptych, Velázquez is positioned on the left and Tiepolo on the right. In each panel, hundreds of thousands of polygons and points comprise a wire frame core that mathematically contorts and regenerates, driven by a soundscape that visually is determined.

The show opens at bitforms gallery in New York at 6pm on May 11 and runs until June 16, 2012.

Below, see some stills from Strata #4.

An excerpt from Topologies, along with some stills.