"Frost-Byte" Art Series - Hand Group

The concept for the "Frost-Byte" Hand Series of Art Prints was based on a spontaneous project I embarked upon after reading the book The Ice Master, by Jennifer Niven, during the summer of 2010. I was inspired and motivated by the accounts of tremendous personal courage, perseverance, and tragedy of the doomed voyage of the ship "Karluk," which was trapped in the arctic ice in 1913.

I decided to portray this event in visual terms by photographing the image of my own hand, with the assistance of my good friend Efrain Diaz-Horna, at his home in Salem, Oregon. I wanted to portray my impression of frostbite in color, and amped-up the graphic detail. I used food dye, Jell-O powder, and acrylic paint to achieve a strong exaggerated image, and colored my own hand with this material, then had Diaz-Horna photograph my hand images on a background of baking soda and flour, in order to mimic snow and ice. After the photo session, we digitally enhanced the images from the developed photos, and pushed the sequence to achieve a grainy, pixilated image. After this effect color-ground was achieved, Efrain reversed the color digitally and produced the images into a blue color-field, producing a second group of graphic works. These ice-blue reversed images appear as ice and ice-locked forms.

The blue images work best in conveying a sense of cold - absolute cold, with human expression portrayed only by hand gesture and form. The colored, "white," images are more colorful, but are also a bit more vulgar, or raw, with the saturation of reds, oranges, and yellows.

My intention was to complete a group portrait of hand images that would ultimately appear as a color-field, or pixilated portrait, of hardship and suffering, documenting the "Karluk's" historical outcome.

This series connects, in an abstract way, the effort of art and history in a snow and ice environment - "the human endeavor to conquer the Polar elements in human terms" - illustrating the brave and delicate balance of life and death in the Arctic environment.

I have selected the "Frost-Byte" Series to be installed as part of the Perm, Russia Exhibition in January 2011. This work will be exhibited along with Argentine artist, Andrea Juan's, artwork. Andrea Juan's work is photo-documentary, while my work is graphic-manipulated color-field, providing great contrast between styles. I think that our artistic expressions will complement each other, rather than compete. Although the total works will be about Polar experience, they will also show a broader range of expression.

My intent is to show this "Frost-Bye" Series of Hand Prints in venues that will reach viewers interested in human endeavor among harsh environments, portraying physical, psychological, and spiritual perseverance in challenging conditions.

©2011 K.A. Colorado