Stuart Allen | Baja
Stuart Allen is an artist whose work deals with fundamental elements of perception such as light, time, gravity and space. He has shown photographs, kites and sculpture in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad. His work is found in many private and public collections including the Tokyo Kite Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, the DiRosa Art Preserve, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and U.S. Embassy collections in Canada, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, and the Republic of Georgia. Allen has completed permanent public art commissions for the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada and the Police Headquarters building in Davis, CA. His work has been published in a variety of books and journals including: Picturing California’s Other Landscape: the Great Central Valley, Terra Nova: Nature and Culture, You Are Here: the Journal of Creative Geography, Zyzzyva and Artweek. Allen has lectured or served as a visiting artist at many fine institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Weisman Art Museum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and a number of university art departments nationwide. Allen studied architecture at Kansas University and graduated from the photography and video department of the Kansas City Art Institute in 1994. He lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife Kelly Lyons, their daughter Aidan and son Vincent. Allen is represented by the following galleries: PDNB, Dallas, TX; JayJay, Sacramento, CA; Jan Manton Art, Brisbane, Australia; Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, MO.
Stuart Allen, artist, photographer, sculptor, public art, kite, kite maker, art consultant, Jayjay, haw contemporary, pdnb gallery, science and art
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Baja

BAJA
Artist’s Statement

The original version of this photograph contains 1,920,000 tiny blocks of color known as pixels. It was made with a consumer-grade digital camera on the west coast of Baja California, Mexico on October 14, 2003. Within a second of my pushing the shutter release, the camera assigned each of these pixels one of over 16 million possible colors. All of the images in this series are extracted from the original 1.92 million colored pixels that define this coastal scene.

The process of making photographs is largely an exercise in editing. By pointing the camera in one direction, the photographer – consciously or unconsciously – chooses to exclude all that lies outside the lens’s view. The photograph serving as the source material for this series is not the result of a careful editing process. It, like hundreds of other snapshots taken on the same sailing trip, was made in a spontaneous manner. The ease of erasing a digital photo (and the freedom from film and processing costs) contributes to this carefree style of photography. A more rigorous editing process occurs later, when sifting through the many folders of snapshots stored on my computer’s hard drive.

The work in this series represents an altogether different form of editing, one that has occurred within the myriad colors and patterns that define a single photograph. Aside from a dramatic increase in scale, the pixels have not been modified or re-arranged. They are color studies mined from the internal structure of the source photo. Their original function – the depiction of a particular coastal view, on a particular day in Baja – is essentially lost. Collectively, they tell something of the scene; but it is a decidedly abstracted version of the original – offering a sense of place rather than a concrete description.

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