Synthesizing Old Masters
Produced in high definition for a commission by the British Film Institute and onedotzero, this piece premiered in 2010 at the BFI Gallery, London. Originally produced as a two-channel animated video installation, the work also exists as a single-channel piece.
Interrupting our expectations of space, the Topologies video installation re-imagines the calculations that go into crafting a masterpiece. In this work, the painted surfaces of two pieces from the Museo del Prado collection, Las Meninas (1656) by Velázquez and The Immaculate Conception (1767) by Tiepolo, transform into animated movement. Dislocating the viewer in time, this work 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. 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.
This piece is the first in Quayola's Strata series to break a composition down into complete abstraction. Sound design by Matthias Kispert.
This composition is available in horizontal or vertical orientations.
Multimedia artist Quayola uses video, computer software, and installation to explore the tension between real and artificial spaces and surfaces. His works include animated hybrid paintings and sculptures, time-based digital sculptures, and immersive audiovisual installations. In digital paintings such as Topologies (2010), which examines the relationship between contemporary digital aesthetics and iconic works of art and architecture (and forms part of the artist’s “Strata” series), Quayola took paintings by Diego Velázquez and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and transformed their surfaces into animated geometric forms. “As I work,” Quayola has said, “I start to become incredibly fascinated by the underlying shapes.”
Italian, b. 1982, Rome, Italy, based in London, United Kingdom