Tesserae

Michael Kellner's avatar Michael Kellner

A contemporary viewer might identify an image made from a matrix of adjacent areas of color as digital, but of course this is an ancient method of constructing pictures. Thousands of years before there were pixels, mosaic images were composed of small tiles or Tesserae. I developed my own method of optical color mixing --making the appearance of a single color by placing two different colors adjacent to one another, so they mix in the eye rather than by mixing paint. It worked, but something was missing. One of the problems was the scale of the marks compared to the dimensions of the overall piece. The smaller the marks, the more accurate the color, but the larger the marks, the more abstract the image is. Eventually I realized that the paintings that were interesting contained more image noise with areas that were the 'wrong' color. Adding 'miscolored' areas to the work seemed to pull everything together and produced a balance that worked.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 1.75 inches
  • Medium: Oil
  • Width: 18 inches
  • Year created: 2012
  • Height: 24 inches