My photo-composite process is a continuation of the tradition that began with collage. Where once artists gathered all their materials from disparate sources and were limited by availability and physicality, 21st century technology has lifted these restraints. By sourcing, scanning and photographing images I’m able to find or produce just the right elements to place next to each other, as juxtaposition forms the foundation of my process. By using software tools I color shift, erase backgrounds and compose, sometimes placing thousands of elements in one piece.
My artistic goal is to lure my audience with intricate appeal, and then upon closer inspection, to assault with disquieting content. I explore and critique the conditions, circumstances, and relations in which the various issues of social and economic justice, environmental protection, technology, race, gender, and human rights manifest. My art practice examines how we might learn to navigate our discomforts and disillusionment as a way to understanding, and perhaps transcending, our hypocrisies and our blindness.
Using LightJet imaging technology harnesses my themes of illumination within a printing process. Three digitally controlled lasers simultaneously expose the photo-sensitive emulsion onto silver halide photo paper with red, green and blue laser lights. The way LightJet prints images is the way we see the world, in RGB and not CMYK. The exposed paper is then processed in traditional photographic chemistry which creates such a strong durable surface that framing without glass is feasible.
I’ve been printing on Endura Metallic chromogenic paper, my 21st century nod to gilding. I find its iridescent finish and rich metallic appearance catches the eye and gives depth to my themes of illumination and human self-reflection. But gilded is not golden. Gilded has a sense of a patina covering something else. It’s the shiny exterior to the decay underneath.
-- Leslie Tucker