Right now, I’m working with this idea in the nautilus paintings. I call them that because of the dual linear/radial symmetry of the compositions.
Most of the nautilus paintings begin as either photographs (usually of nudes or landscapes) or directly sampled skin tones from a model.
Procedurally, they begin at a specific site in the composition and are painted slowly moving from one place, tracing an arc through the plane, mixing each successive color using the leftover paint from the previous.
Colors slowly modulate into each other, usually passing through several indeterminate hues along the way.
I think of these as both landscapes and portraits.
The general procedural aim was to deal solely with interrelationships inside a defined palette while doing pictorial work.
I started making these in about 2002–03. At the time I was trying to rectify why I wanted to continue making data- or system-driven images. I started feeling that the kind of intellectualized formalism I’d been employing, typified by the chess & surf bifurcation paintings, wasn’t as satisfying as it had been. And, it wasn’t eliciting the kind of freedoms I had hoped. So, I started experimenting with ways to shift the project toward notions that were both more personal and emotional. Some of that was a direct result of moving to New York, leaving a network of friends and artists behind in LA, and then 9/11 with all its weird aftermath.