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#gefaelltdas | New series of 'Instagram' woodcuts

With my latest series of woodcuts, a new project I call '#gefaelltdas', I am exploring modern-day habits of interaction, (self-)reflection, perception and deception, borrowing the imagery as well as the values that we all have become so accustomed to through using Instagram. I am not criticizing social media, being a heavy user of mainly Instagram and Facebook myself. As an artist, curator, collector and gallery owner it has become a part of my daily routine to promote my work and even my lifestyle online.

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For me creating art is also a very personal way to research and discover, to experiment and proof. It helps me to study and investigate life and the issues we interact with as humans, trying to satisfy my curiosity and to built (or develop) my ‚visual stories‘ upon my findings. I am mostly interested in the social and cultural aspects of the human habitat, and while some things may look supersimple and obvious to others, I have to dig in deep if something excites my ‚artistic instincts‘ until I am personally satisfied. 

With ‚#gefaelltdas‘ I am going down the path of interaction, perception and deception, borrowing the imagery that we all have become so accustomed to from Instagram. As with most of my work, during research I am setting some ground rules through iteration to achieve my results. These rules or guidelines are a way of outlining the work I will create in the studio afterwards, which it is a vital part of my sketching process.

For example in the first work of the series (see below) I was narrowing down the principles after which a certain kind of selfie is being composed: shot into a mirror with the smartphone covering the face. The awkward angle of the camera leads to an interesting perspective of the overall picture, with abstract-looking lines in the background. For the following pieces I use these findings and continue to search for something „iconic“ in the imagery in the sense that this is conditioning our behaviour and our viewing patterns. It will always be related to how we compose and consume photography on Instagram, but also, like in the animal images, to the kind of content we devour.  

To drive the recognition value of the imagery to the max, I am using the frame of the Instagram posts from the username/handle down to the interactive part and the number of likes, which seem to have turned into a hyper-valued currency these days.

That is why I am naming the artworks after the amount of likes of the source image. And because in the german version of Instagram on my smartphone a „like“ becomes a „gefällt“, the whole series is named ‚#gefaelltdas‘. I actually registered @gefaelltdas , a new Instagram account next to my regular one (@alexxxdiamond), where I will also document the project.

In regards to my distinctive woodcutting technique applied here: because of the smaller size of the woodblocks (18x 24 x 3 cm / 7” x 9.5” x 1.2”), the text becomes a bit choppy and almost unreadable, but everything is actually carved into the wood, while the color is mostly rubbed into the cuts. The pigmenting and painting of these works resembles old russian icon paintings, and while I am not pursuing any religious ideas here, the golden, vintage look and the choice of a „new iconic imagery“ supports the theme.

For updates:

Please check this online-portfolio below. I will update this document when I add new work.

You can inquire about the availability of the individual pieces by clicking the links inside the portfolio. And of course you can check directly here.   

And of course please follow my own Instagram at @alexxxdiamond for my latest artworks, photography and nonsense. 

The icons | more superheroes

Alex Diamond: Cash Only Motherfucker (2016) acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: Cash Only Motherfucker (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: A Is For Anarchy (2016) acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: A Is For Anarchy (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 18 x 24 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Alex Diamond: The Knight And The Demons (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 20 x 20 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Click this link to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.

Alex Diamond: Long Beard, Hairy Ass (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 20 x 20 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

The Icons | #girlswithtattoos

Alex Diamond: #girlswithtattoos (2016)
acrylic paint, woodcut, 18x24 cm (7” x 9.5” x 1.2”)

Love the structure of the wood on this one...
Click the image below or this link to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.

Alex Diamond: #girlswithtattoos (2016), acrylic paint, woodcut, 18x24 cm (7” x 9.5” x 1.2”) Click image to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.

Alex Diamond: #girlswithtattoos (2016), acrylic paint, woodcut, 18x24 cm (7” x 9.5” x 1.2”)
Click image to view (and download) the complete ICONS-Portfolio.


The Icons | New series of woodcuts

Alex Diamond: The Thing vs. Deadpool (2016)
Acrylic paint, woodcut, 20 x 20 x 3 cm (7.8” x 7.8” x 1.2”)

Here‘s is a new direction in my woodcuts - an open series with various themes and formats, with technique and colors as the one thing in common. The pigmenting and painting of these works resembles old russian icon paintings, and while I am not pursuing any religious ideas here, the golden, vintage look and the choice of iconic characters is a main theme. 

Looking at these images in this portfolio, please consider that my work is always rather difficult to document - woodcuts are so much harder to reduce to a Jpeg than a painting or drawing. They are simply never just „flat“ - it is the carving that gives them depth and a very special feel. Even my very own coloring techniques are so hard to see if you are just looking at the pieces on a screen. 

It is again very true for this new line of work I am currently creating. These russion-icon-like small-format-heavily-worked-on-blocks-of-wood I am currently creating. They all are rather small, and I love running my fingers over the surfaces of them. They feel almost ancient, and they look different from every angle, and the light changes them depending on where you stand. Or hold them in your hands. 

It is a beautiful experience. Well, at least it is a unique experience.

Believe me, I find the process of photographing them and uploading them to the internet pretty frustrating. So much gets lost. 

You all should be able to see the originals, feel them, touch them. My work is a very haptic and sensual experience, one that I would love to share with all of you…

PS: These works are available through Galerie Wolfsen