David Molesky – The Future Trajectory of Representational Painting and Sculpture

David Molesky (b.1977) is a Brooklyn-based painter and writer. Molesky grew up in Washington DC and received his BA from UC Berkeley in 1999. Over the past 25 years, Molesky has painted a variety of subject matter in oils, including turbulent seawater, forest fires, archetypal narratives, and most recently, riots. He focuses on universal humanistic themes and the experience of the sublime and beautiful. These paintings have been featured in museum exhibitions across the globe including: the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Pasinger Fabrik, Germany; The Museum Casa Dell’Architettura, Italy; and Telemarksgaleriet. Molesky’s paintings are in the permanent collection of the Long Beach Museum of Art among other public collections in Europe, Asia, and on both coasts in the United States. He is the recipient of several artist residency awards through the Morris Graves Foundation, California; Fine Art Base, California; and the Fundacja Nakielska, Poland. Molesky and his work have been featured in many publications including; New American Painting, LA Times, The Washington Post, and Juxtapoz.

The Future Trajectory of Representational Painting and Sculpture

Human culture has always opportunistically employed technological advancements as means to elevate the quality of representational painting and sculpture. For the last few decades, the imagination of many, if not most painters, has been assisted by digital photography and photoshop-type softwares in the composing of pictures. Some contemporary artists are cleverly integrating the most recent technologies to aid in the creation of representational paintings and sculptures which would not be possible to create via machine or man alone. The collaboration between computer and the human expertise in both manual technique and gifted understanding of the human condition can create works which reflect the things to come. When our biological intuition begins to merge with the aspiring artificial intelligence, the result is a greater awareness of our own algorithms that lie behind the experiences of kitsch and archetypes.

The painter Nicola Verlato uses architectural software to create figures as vectors which he can then manipulate in a virtual three dimensional space. The ease at which the software allows him to light, turn the figure, as well as change the vantage point and precise perspective, would make Brunelleschi jealous. Sculptor Kazuhiro Tsuji uses a combination of cutting edge materials (which he pioneered in the Hollywood special effects makeup industry) such as his home-made silicon based paint, along with 3D scanning and printing, to create triple life-sized sculptural portraits that go much beyond any exactitude of likeness and personality made by any other machine-man collaboration to this date.

As we are rapidly entering the era where our biological hardware is slowly merging with computers, what can we hope to see in the evolution of representational art? What might be lost and what might be elevated?