Photos of still life paintings executed in a trippy glitch aesthetic by London-based artist Gordon Cheung. The artist selects several images from the Rijksmuseum’s open source library and uses an open source algorithm to render the photographs of the paintings into a kind of digital quicksand effect. The algorithm essentially re-orders the pixels resulting in over 4,000 images. The archival inkjet prints are part of a series entitled Tulipmania that comments on capitalism, zeroing in on economic recessions of the past and present.
The romantic narrative of still lifes represents the futility of materialism in the context of the fragility of mortality, and that it also has a wider political, historical, and cultural dimension regarding power and status. The still lifes express the enormous trading power of Holland and how the new social classes wanted to show off this wealth. The tulip became an icon of this impulse; those who could not afford the real thing could have it rendered in oil paint. (At the peak of Tulipmania it was cheaper to commission a painting of a tulip than it was to buy one tulip.)Gordon Cheung's works are available at Alan Cristea Gallery.