André Hemer

New Smart Objects

Andre Hemer is a New Zealand paint and digital media artist currently based in Sydney. Hemer's work is informed by an ongoing interest in the dichotomous relationship shared by the analogue and digital age. Having worked full time as an artist since completing his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Hemer has exhibited widely in NZ, Australia and beyond.

Here he talks with ORGNL.TV about his show New Smart Objects currently being held at Chalk Horse Gallery in Sydney and the question of authorship and authenticity.

"I am really interested in imagery and process that is of the moment."

"I am really interested in imagery and process that is of the moment."

Interview with André Hemer
Interview with André Hemer
Your practice is really innovative and unique; could you tell us a bit about the creation of your current show New Smart Objects at Chalk horse Gallery?

The show came together over a three-month period. I had no idea what direction it was going when I began the paintings, which I decided to treat like drawings, working one after another exploring different ways of combining materials, processes and imagery. I made over sixty works, and edited the show down to twelve works.

What inspired it?

I am really interested in imagery and process that is of the moment, hence the use of gradients, digital transformations (smudges and erasures), spray-painted gestures and overly saturated colours. I combine these facets into a process that incorporates both conventional painting and digital outputs.

I read on your artist profile that you are interested in the differences between the analogue and the digital and the translations from one medium or technology to another. Are you of the Don Dellio school of thought that something is lost in the translation from analogue to digital technology? Like the grain of an image or the crackle of music?

Yes, I’m very interested in the translation between analogue and digital. I am certainly a proponent of the ‘object’ hence the title of the show. Objects have a physicality that the digital inherently lacks-thus, it is important that in a generation where image is as disposable as the flickering of a pixel on screen that we remember to embrace ways of seeing that happen in more visceral ways. At the same time, I am not ‘anti’ digital- I see it as a status quo of the world surrounding us, and also an indicator of the changing ways in which we relate to the world. As for, Dellio, I would say that whenever something is lost in translation, something else is also gained (through the change in what was lost). For example, in translating from digital to paint physicality arises where before there was only a complete flatness (in printed form) or absence (on screen as a digital file). In scanning a painting, parts of image are reproduced as more saturated and other subtleties of image can be lost- so the image becomes something anew- and then we can also transform the image in ways that are impossible in paint- stretching infinitely, smudging, erasing through layers.

Love the sense that your works encourage the viewer to reach out, touch, question and critique. Is this sense of layman come critic important to the intuition of your work?

Yes, I think so. For one thing I always try to use tools and processes that I am not completely trained or sure of how to use. Although my work has had a similar conceptual base for some time, I have always tried to shift between computer programs and systems, software tools, painting tools, and materials. The works produced have an honestly in the sense that they are the result of a manual and prolonged kind of investigation and not as pre-conceived conceptual renderings.

And finally, what does originality mean to you? Does it exist?

Originality exists all of the time. The world is constantly changing, and therefore our forms of expression change as well. The reason that I paint is to express this very point- to capture something at this exact moment, in such a basic and conventional way, but in a way that can only be done now.



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Article by Stoli Australia

Photography by Chalk Horse Gallery

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