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Deconstruction #1 - V. 1/3

Museum Link: https://app.museumofcryptoart.com/collection/permanent-collection?collection=0xb932a70a57673d89f4acffbe830e8ed7f75fb9e0&token=7137&page=2

Source Link: https://superrare.com/artwork-v2/deconstruction-1---v.-1-3-7137

Date Minted:  January 16, 2020

Artist Description: mel duARTE developed throughout2019 a series of abstracts in this style in all possible shades of your imagination. In this series of 3, the theme is pink. It will be offered later the version of this art in jpg file 60x90cm, in high resolution 300dpi, at makersplace.com in 30 limited editions, which can be printed by the owner of the piece. The gif version is
unique. Gif size: 53 frames, 38MB, 1080x1620px.

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Mel Duarte plays with all manner of form. Within her oeuvre is collage and glitch and bric-a-brac galore. But Deconstruction #1 - V. ⅓ is a piece of hard abstraction, relatively rare in her impressive collection of works. This is the equivalent of paint laid bare on a canvas, with the relationship between colors the prime and centered focus of the piece. Singularly, Deconstruction explores this play of color in two separate methods: static and fluid. We are asked to observe a piece of mottled color just as we would do in a gallery, seeing a piece of unchanging art upon a wall. For the second part of Duarte’s exploration, however, we’re shown color dissolving, sliding into itself, with the original image melting into something new, less exact, less easily-identifiable. 

It’s best to initially parse through a discussion of this piece in two phases, mimicking the makeup of the piece itself. To that end, what do we see in the piece initially, before it changes? Deconstruction #1 - V. ⅓  reminds me most primarily of Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors. The hues are those that are often photographed in the air and on the clothes and faces of revelers, bright pinks and light blues and soft, creamsicle oranges, thrown haphazardly together. There is more intention in Deconstruction #1 - V. ⅓ than an average Holi celebration, but it achieves a similar effect, that of colors bursting, intertwining at their edges, forming new shades and hues and patterns. A jagged stalactite of red and orange and pink hangs down from the top edge of the image, while in other places we find rising tides of turquoise, brief expansions of ochre from the left and right edges, splotchy, sure, but the whole thing feels like a generally holistic flow of shade into shade. There’s a watercolor aspect to this piece, where colors follow unforeseeable paths as they expand outward along their medium, fusing with others, becoming dark and solid in some areas, lighter and less defined in others. Duarte claims the piece shows “all possible shades of your imagination.” Her intimation must be that imagination is an inherently positive place, as the colors here are predominantly those of sunsets and cotton candy, what I suppose can be called carnival colors. “In this series of 3, the theme is pink,” Duarte later says. It could be pink, or pastel, or early Spring, all three themes would be here elegantly explored.

But then the piece starts changing, and it is no longer so clear what we’re looking at, or the intention behind it. Deconstruction #1 - V. ⅓ reveals itself to be a gif, and once that gif begins moving, so do the colors therein. The colors towards the top of the piece drop downward, as if falling under the weight of their own glut, dragged along the piece’s length like a great farm harvester across a cornfield, knocking down everything in its path. It’s less simple to separate colors at this point, as, say, great pink lines of color fall into themselves, becoming deeper and darker, but are ringed around by colors submerged in its path, oranges and browns and blues that form outlines around long fingers of fallen color. Down towards the bottom of the piece, it retains its original appearance of something hand-drawn and paint-splotched, but near the top, it reveals itself as a digitized work: the lines that fall are clearly either computer-generated or computer-provoked, and now the piece is halved into two segments: that which is hand-touched and that which is technologically-driven, more like a computer screen glitching out. 

Certainly, when the paint begins dripping, a bit of the piece’s initially placid appearance is lost. This ceases to be a piece centered on simple clouds of color. It takes on characteristics of the effect imposed on it, imbued both with the hand of the artist and the programmed code of the effect itself. If seeing the two static pieces, initial and final, placed against each other, it might be hard to see how one evolves out of the other, yet Duarte relishes in being overt about the process by which the initial painting is “destroyed,” thus becoming something else entirely. That destruction is a form of creation could be a tacit theme suggested by the construction itself, and indeed, there’s no telling if any given person will “prefer” the initial frames to the final postures of the piece. Why choose? Why not enjoy the slow degradation of one thing into another, noticing that the finished whole itself is neither the initial phase nor the final, nor even the movement in between. Deconstruction #1 - V. ⅓ is a sum of all of its parts, and all of its parts, each one minutely, need to be considered, observed, and appreciated together to fully experience the piece itself. 

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