Iconoclashes: Berglin & Valla

Iconoclashes Erik Berglin and Clement Valla, ArtHack Day, Metropolitain Museum of Art public web archive, Mulherin+PollardIconoclashes Erik Berglin and Clement Valla, ArtHack Day, Metropolitain Museum of Art public web archive, Mulherin+PollardIconoclashes Erik Berglin and Clement Valla, ArtHack Day, Metropolitain Museum of Art public web archive, Mulherin+PollardClick to enlarge

I went to galleries on the Lower East Side this weekend here in NYC, and had it not been for my friend Eric, I would have definitely walked on by the Mulherin + Pollard gallery having glanced through the window quickly and seen a room full of oversized photographs of classic sculpture. Once inside, there was something a little off about these photos. Fortunately, one of the gallery owners came over explained the process behind the images, which I ended up really liking. Iconoclashes, as this series of works is called, was created by artists Erik Berglin and Clement Valla at Art Hack day (an event that had intrigued me at the time) a few months back. Berglin and Valla used images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s public web archive that were tagged with the keywords ‘God’ or  ‘Religion’. Using an algorithm in Photoshop, the works were randomly grouped and digitally merged, resulting in surprisingly odd, and in some cases surreal, statues. Because the Met shoots all of its art with the same background and lighting, the melding of the objects is more believable. The clashing of these objects from various time periods and cultures make for some very interesting and unlikely artworks. Even the white space on the right of the images is a result of a clash between vertical and horizontal images, confusing photoshop into leaving an irregular edge.

I found the whole concept fun, as well as technically curious, and, at least that top image, makes a nice sculpture in its crazy combination.

Iconoclashes showed  at Mulherin + Pollard through June 9th, but you can see many more of these visual mash-ups here and here.

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