At long last a new form of image. The new series of works by Tamara K.E. uniquely combines the new links between painting, digital processes and photography such as is arising in the 21st century and emphatically help shape art. While her studio and the gallery that represents her have been in New York since 2010, she is actually a native of Georgia (where she is still artistically very present), studied in Alfonso Hüppi’s master class at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1997-2004, and continues to realize her pieces in that artists’ biotope on the banks of the Rhine River.
She starts out with Copic Marker drawings and watercolors that rely on Pop culture for their underlying subject matter. The results are then scanned, digitized, processed, and recycled in lengthy periods until the artist, who represented Georgia in 2003 at the 50the Venice Biennale, is satisfied that they constantly oscillate between positive and negative moods. Revisiting Fear is thus the name she gave the series, which she started in 2014 (although her first experiments with the material date back to 1998) and is now going on show for the first time featuring this specific image technique at viennacontemporary – whereby some of the images were included in an exhibition in Tbilisi in the spring.
What arose as analog drawings and painting gets digitized in a process that allows for much chance, morphing a lot and eventually being transposed by pigment printing onto slide film. A digital-analog collage of painting and Photoshop in this way ends on a preferred medium of old analog photography. The images draw their transparency from this, the light of the slide film and the potential offered by a new scale of color values. Painting, printed as a photograph, renews the sensory appeal of the pictorial medium thanks to the smoothness of the digital print and the linkage of light and color in slide material, while the contradictory iconographical elements remain in constant change in the countless layers that have been interlaced.
These composite images with their multiple meanings would be inconceivable without New York, where the first of these steps in the process take place. That said, it is in Europe that they are completed, namely with the means of the Düsseldorf School of Photography, which also permits the large slide format. “Bringing the digital and the analog together in a body,” the way Tamara K.E. does, also takes the dialogue of low-brow and high-brow to a new level. (Robert Fleck)