Steve Danzig

'Galaxies' by Warren Furman

~

I am an Australian artist working in digital and photographic media. I am also the Director for World Digital Art.com, the International Digital Art Awards and a board member for the International Association of Computer Graphics.

I particularly enjoy early religious European art from the 1400s. I think what is so interesting from that period are the techniques they employed to create composition and perspective. There was no horizon line. Heaven is represented by the top, hell at the bottom and purgatory in the middle. There was no depth of field, so things further away were simply painted smaller on the vertical line, everything appears to float while staying in focus. I see a lot of the digital art done this way via multi-layering, artists applying layers on top of each other and it's a perfectly valid technique that can create some wonderful painterly effects. In my latest work I have combined some of those 13th century elements and contemporarized them, my Boschesque demons are replaced by manipulated photo-images that in fact could exist in reality. The work by nature is reminiscent of European cinematography or Operatic stage design and I enjoy exploring a much broader story line in the work than my earlier work.

These new images in part depict stories of ancient mythology (the "underworld"). They also juxtapose contemporary archetypal metaphors relating to personal experiences, such as male psychology referencing "dark eros ," or perhaps addiction, repetitive behavior, hiding secrets about ourselves and how we then translate those experiences or truths in an uncontrolled environment, such as an altered state of consciousness. Do these images depict nightmares? They could possibly be doing that, but I think what is more interesting is the symbolic representation. At the end of the day, we only ever really sleep with ourselves and there are no secrets held in our dreaming. This is where we are confronted by the real self.

I have a background in psychology, my work encompasses areas of archetypal psychology highlighting specific themes on self, wounding, narcissism, shadow ego, truth etc. All my images in part reflect and question our social matrix (via religious ideology, sexual identity, family, fear, anger, death, society) and how we process these experiences to establish and understand our "TRUTH".

~

Goth


Unearthly Delight ­ 1


Unearthly Delight ­ 2


Unearthly delight ­ 3


Death ­ 04


Death ­ 05


Death ­ 06


Death ­ 07


Death ­ 08


Death ­ 09


Death ­ 10


Death ­ 11


Death ­ 12


Death ­ 13


Death ­ 14


Death ­ 15


Death ­ 16


Death ­ 17


Death ­ 18


Death ­ 19


Death - 20

I have a dedicated group of talented friends and colleagues who assist me in production - special thanks to Wayne J. Cosshall
(photographer/writer/editor), Donna Murty (stills/Kiss Photography) and the many models who I regularly call upon to torture.... Joanna, John, Di, Fiona, Scott, Emily, David, Phillipe and last but not least Rob Swain an amazing sound "Guru" artist from Scotland!
~

Fine Art Profile - Steve Danzig
By Wayne J.Cosshall
Editor Digital Photography & Design Magazine

Steve Danzig is an Australian artist working in digital and photographic media. He is the Director for World Digital Art.com, the International Digital Art Awards and a board member for the International Association of Computer Graphics. He enjoys working partnerships with the likes of Laurence Gartel, US artist and early pioneer of the digital art genre - famous for his ABSOLUT GARTEL campaign for ABSOLUT VODKA. Steve also exhibits and lectures internationally.

I am in the fortunate and unusual position of being a sufficiently close colleague that I often see his work in progress. Indeed Steve and I often collect source material together doing joint photo-shoots. This means some of our work share similar starting imagery. This in fact allows me to appreciate even more his creative process.

Steve is a truly remarkable thinker. His depth of understanding of many things, but in particular human psychology and the artistic process, make his perceptions truly insightful. He is certainly a man to carefully listen to. Whilst you may not always agree with him, what he has to say will always be interesting. Much has been written about Steve Danzig's work. Perhaps JD Jarvis' (a US artist and art critic) review of his two part series Death and Search for Self &the New Humanism eloquently sums it up: "The willingness to exploit and exhibit the digital tool's ability to create multiple versions of a composition is also refreshing and I believe adds intellectual weight to the concept of the work. This work clearly emerges from a unique person using a unique tool to create work that is both personal and at the same time universal."

Gallery 1: Steve's work has undergone a radical development in the last few weeks before the preparation of this profile June 2002. Steve's earlier digital work has a very painterly feel to it. The more recent work, up to a few weeks ago, was less painterly and more photo-manipulative. It was also somewhat minimalist in terms of content and conceptual complexity. The very latest work has progressed to a grand-scale,semi-painterly and very cinematic form. The tableaux he is now creating are reminiscent of European cinematography or Operatic stage design.

In Steve's own words: "all the latest work is photo-based....the textures I use on the bodies are in part made and then digitally translated as a texture -sometimes saved as a template/or you might call it a PS action script and then applied/moulded to the bodies I use in each image. This is not a fixed process. I particularly enjoy early religious art from the 1400s. I think what is so interesting from that period are the techniques they employed to create perspective. There was no horizon line. Heaven is represented by the top, hell at the bottom and purgatory in the middle. There was no depth of field, so things further away were simply painted smaller on the vertical line, everything appears to float while staying in focus. I see a lot of the multi-layered digital art done this way, artists applying layers on top of each other and it's a perfectly valid technique that can create some wonderful painterly effects. In this latest work I have combined some of those 13th century elements and contemporarized them, my Boschesque demons are replaced by images that in fact could exist in reality. The work by nature is very cinematic and I enjoy exploring a much broader story line in the work."

He continues: "These new images in part depict stories of ancient mythology (the "underworld"). They also juxtapose contemporary archetypal metaphors relating to personal experiences, such as male psychology referencing "dark eros ," or perhaps addiction, repetitive behavior, hiding secrets about ourselves and how we then translate those experiences or truths in an uncontrolled environment, such as an altered state of consciousness. Do these images depict nightmares? They could possibly be doing that, but I think what is more interesting is the symbolic representation. At the end of the day, we only ever really sleep with ourselves and there are no secrets held in our dreaming. This is where we are confronted by the real self ."

Steve Danzig's digital art crosses photo-manipulation and natural media with an interest in animation. You will notice a painterly effect in some of the earlier works and not surprising as Steve studied traditional media. You can see influences of Francis Bacon, Max Ernst and Lucian Freud's confronting realism embedded deep within Steve's artistic psyche. In short his images play on "dark " emotional themes and accompanied by artists from the Post Post modern era, like Peter-Joel Witkin and Alessandro Bavari,they are carrying on the traditions of "art-par-excellence "in non-traditional styles.

Gallery 2: There is other photo-based work and in particular his work from NYC titled LAP: an exploration of exhibitionism, voyeurism and homo-erotic identity - "the sexual self" - These images document and explore our social matrix and how we process and exchange "need" through activities pertaining to gratification, fantasy and psycho-sexual expression.

Gallery 3: Visual Noise Transgression has been a collaborative experiment contructing digital images for web from soundscapes by recording sound files over a week in various NYC locations. Converted to mp3 and then translated as sound to visual effects with final rendering in photo-imaging software. These abstract images depict the every day socio-activities of a major city

Gallery 4: In his early works titled Search for Self & the New Humanism Steve refers to the work as a comment on life. It encompasses areas of archetypal psychology highlighting specific themes on self, wounding, narcissism, shadow, ego, truth etc.
The images in part reflect and question our social matrix ( via religious ideology, sexual identity, family, fear, anger, death, society) and how we process these experiences to establish and understand our "TRUTH".

We can quickly work out that to understand a Danzig image requires a dedicated emotional and intellectual investment. Technically,he likes to keep production simple,clean and using only key elements.Steve prints exclusively with Epson products and uses a 7500 ProGraphic six color printer with Premium semi-gloss paper.

Steve is a Mac user.


~
Steve Danzig
Visual/digital artist
PO BOX 437, Elsternwick 3185, Melbourne Australia
Web: http://www.internationaldigitalart.com/Danzig/danzig.html
email: giznad@ozemail.com.au