Painting, 2018

Theo Triantafyllidis

Augmented Painting

Print on Plywood, Laser Cut Acrylic, Construction Fencing

HD Video on embedded 40” HDTV, Performance Documentation, Audio

Dimensions: 71” x 142”

Video Duration: 11:49

In this body of work, the “Ork Series”, Theo Triantafyllidis re-imagines the exhibition space as his own virtual studio. He embodies an Ork avatar, who uses digital tools to create virtual paintings and 3D forms, which are then manifested physically as large-scale wood wall pieces and sculptures. This process is recorded through DIY Motion Capture and displayed on screens in the exhibition space. The audience is able to view the works while simultaneously experiencing the artist’s digital performance of creating them.

In creating the Ork character, Triantafyllidis pairs prevalent video game tropes with the performative persona of The Artist. Ork Aesthetics are inspired by medieval contraptions, engineering tools, brutalism and gaming culture. The artist’s performance considers the concept of virtual labor and production in today's hybrid-reality work environments, as the Ork experiences the frustrations and complications of artistic labor in his virtual studio. After digital creation, his works are rendered physically flat in a purposeful misuse of 3D modeling, coming to occupy an alternative mass and materiality in this augmented and mixed world. 

<squeaking leather bikini sound effect>

<teleport sound effect>

<attachment sound effect>

Okay, I'm going to be honest with you. 

I don't get painting.

Like, why would people want to paint today?

Just doesn't make too much sense for me.

I don't mean to be offensive to other artists who like to paint.

But you know for me it doesn't make that much sense.

There is this whole painting discourse 

and of course this medium has such a great history 

but you know why do it right now? 

So in order for me to try to understand it a bit better, 

I just thought I would just try to make one.

So here we go this is the first painting I'll ever make…

So yeah I brought a bunch of tools 

and I prepared this plywood to use as a canvas.

Yeah I got a ton of tools.

Let me show you around.

This is my studio by the way.

I'm going to put you right here. 

I guess people usually start by just making some line drawings,

to sketch out a few first ideas.

Something like this I guess.

That's good.

And then start putting in some major brushstrokes.

I'm going to start with this one.

I'm going to try to be playful with those brush strokes.

Yeah I guess a big part of this conversation

is dealing with the surface.

We perceive space and then have to 

place our ideas in two dimensions on the painting.

That's hard!

I think I'm done with green

Maybe I'm going to try some braver strokes.

Maybe something like this 

<continues painting> 

Yeah that's good!

It's good isn't it?

I have to go back here 

and evaluate how it looks so far.

Definitely needs something more. 

I guess a big part of this conversation is 

about the artist’s body and these gestures 

that are somehow expressing the embodiment of the paint. 

Is that right?

Maybe I should try something even more gestural.

Like some splashes here and there.

<splashes brush> 

Yeah that feels good 

it needs more something more intense.

Right here.

Yeah this red is so nice, 

it reminds me of blood. 

Then I guess maybe some more details. 

<Grabs Camera>

Yeah I can use my small brush.

I'm going to put you right here so you can see the view.

Some details would be good 

I guess some tiny details.

Yeah this is nice.

You know people think that Orcs are not good with this kind of stuff 

but we actually are pretty good at it.

I think this is feeling pretty good right now.

I wonder what else it needs.

I'm going to try those things back there maybe.

There's a lot of conversations about the surface of the painting.

Some people try to break that by putting a lot of layers 

on top and on top of each other. 

That's an easy way to make a painting pop out of the wall.

People want their paintings to be on the walls 

but they also want them to go out of the walls for some reason. 

This good right there.

Hmm, I think it needs some of this pink.

Some bitter strokes.

<continues painting> 

Yeah that's good.

Something like this.

That's looking pretty great right.

You know, because I'm supposed to be a media artist,

so I always have screens in my work,

so I think it would be good to have a screen somewhere inside this painting, 

then it would be playing more with the surface, you know.

So if it was somewhere right here.

Ah yes 

Is it straight?

Is it level ?

Yes screens got to be level! 

I think it's good there right? 

And then let's go take a look from away.

We're going to get the better sense of what's going on. 

Honestly I think its looking pretty good. 

I'm kinda getting into this.

I can see why people like doing this. 

I think it needs one last thing.

Maybe a really strong brushstroke.

Something over here. 

Let's see how far I can reach.

Yeah. Wow. 

This is looking really good now, isn't it ?

What do you think about this?

Is strong right? Is strong? 

I think I can totally understand now.

I think I know why people are so much into this.

You can basically make a piece in like 5 minutes. 

That's insane and it's a pretty big piece too. 

And people can put it on their walls.

It's so easy.

That's awesome!

Yeah I'm into this. 

That's a pretty damn good painting too! 

<teleport sound effect>

<distant bird sounds>