A Series of Radishes

I've always liked the collection or series genre. A series of four pictures contains an extra, fifth thing. The mystery of animation is that there is actually no movement, just a series of still images. Movement is the collective quality of the individual images which disappears when they are separated.

Collection, or association, creates a context which can change our initial impression of the individual images. It's something that's been done in many ways for probably thousands of years, but I still find the effect intriguing and fresh. Maybe that's what makes collages so interesting, even when they're made with uninteresting pieces, the sum transforms the parts into a symphony of scraps.

I think the differences in each of the images cause us to return and look more closely at the others and regard previously overlooked features with new interest. Or less interest. It works both ways. Editing is the key here.

I saw a documentary about a commercial artist who did all sorts of creative work, from oil painting to grocery store decoration. He commented on having to sit in art class and make highly detailed, realistic drawings of all sorts of simple objects. Eventually, (it took a while, maybe) he saw it as being a good thing, but not because it improved his drawing skill, but because he said, "When you have to make a drawing of something, that's the only time you really look at it".

Because digital art can be so easy to make (mine is), the act of "really looking" can be absent or at least, unlikely. Ironically, the repetition of the image in a series of variations causes us to regain some of that careful observation that otherwise would be lost flipping through the piles of imagery that a computer can quickly make.

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