read::zebra's

Graphical Landscapes: A TBE SHORT

In Thoughts on June 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

I went back and forth on these. On the one hand, something about these saturated neon landscapes by Jonathan Zawada struck me immediately. On the other hand, they weren’t very complex, just 21st-century topographical pop art.

So I forgot about them. For about 5 minutes. Then for some reason, I went back to the website and looked again. What was so fantastic about them? I couldn’t put my finger on it. I’m not an art connoisseur, so I imagined I was just enthralled by the colors and my love of natural contours. I was being taken advantage of, gullible in my human desire for bright shiny things.

But I dug a little deeper, i.e. skittered across the Web via various blue hyperlinks, and discovered that my gut had been right. The reason these paintings compel is because they are fantastic—literally. The landscapes depicted in vibrant oil don’t exist. The topography Zawada is painting is actually graph data. Multiline graphs are inserted into 3-D modeling software and transformed into renderings, which then become the basic contours of these fictional landscapes.

See for yourself.

Zawada exhibited the paintings at Los Angeles’ PRISM earlier this year.

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