KATSU DRONE PAINTINGS
April 10 – 13
Silicon Valley Contemporary
Thursday, April 10 6-9:30pm
Open to the public
Friday, April 11 11- 8pm
Saturday, April 12 11-8pm
Sunday, April 13 11-6pm
The Hole is proud to present a solo booth at the first Silicon Valley Art Fair by multi media artist KATSU. In a fair focusing on art and technology, we will present a series of abstract paintings by KATSU that are made by drone aircraft (flight). The booth will also feature a video that documents how the paintings were made and the technology used to make them.
The artworks in this exhibition are a completely new type of painting that has never been made before. As drone aircraft (drones) have become more affordable to consumers, KATSU has been working to develop a way to make them paint. Originally developing technology so drones could be programmed to write illegal graffiti, KATSU created the hardware and software to have a drone carry a spray paint can and a mechanism to press the can to emit spray. These pasts months he has experimented with the weight of the paint, the straw for the sprayer, the sensor for the can activation, the flight of the drone and different paint and surfaces to achieve the artworks he sought.
The results show a new type of mark, divorced from the artist hand though remotely controlled by it, and filtered through the nature of the drone and its tendencies. The semi-random line in the works has a choppy quality to one side of the mark, as the paint is whipped up in the drone’s propellers. The gesture of the mark is governed by the drone’s gyroscope as it tries to “right” itself from the paint payload and the spray propulsion. The result is semi-controlled chaos as the artist can control color and semi-control composition but not much else.
These works visually relate to Abstract Expressionism, where the gestures are random and free and a record of movement; however of course here the hand of the artist is on a joystick and has been honed by years of video game playing. In spirit the works are very much part of a tendency in emerging art to engage with process driven abstraction, however in these works, the artist is not seeking to shirk responsibility by turning the composition over only to process, rather he is creating new opportunities of engagement, and their resulting difficulties and restrictions, through a challenging and pioneering process. Like William Anastasi subway drawings or Cy Twombly automatic writing, the process shapes the work but does not engulf and exclude the work; these abstractions are not about robotics but about the beautiful or poetic expressions that can come from a fusion of human and technology.
KATSU is a prolific artist who emerged in New York City in the late 1990s, primarily recognized by his tags “KATSU” and a single stroke skull icon. As an artist who uniquely blends traditional graffiti, digital media and conceptual artwork, KATSU creates an entirely new hybridized approach to contemporary art. Both through his visual and digital projects, KATSU questions notions of reality, fiction, and ‘graffiti,’ by conceptually integrating notions of vandalism with commercialism and technology.
KATSU has previously collaborated with Graffiti Research Lab, a collective of technologists, artists and hackers. He is currently a research fellow at the Free Art and Technology Lab where, in collaboration with fellow FAT Lab member, artist and programmer Theo Watson, he developed the iPhone app Fat Tag Graffiti Deluxe-KATSU Edition
The fair will present contemporary art in all media, including video art and digital installations from around the world, intended to explore the intersection between art and technology. All the work included in the fair was created between 1970-present, which parallels the rise of Silicon Valley historically and culturally.
“The fair’s mission is to create the “next generation art fair” by establishing a bridge between the worlds of art + tech by showcasing cutting edge new media and moving image works and installations. While exploring this dynamic intersection with single channel and multi channel video works on TV screens and inspiring 3D digital installations, the fair also offers a wide selection of traditional genres. Important paintings, works on paper, photography, prints and sculpture will be available. It is the most expansive selection of significant fine art ever presented in the Valley.” siliconvalleycontemporary.com
For more information on Silicon Valley Contemporary or to preview available works please email email@example.com