Combining groundbreaking digital technology with photography, fine art and a keen imagination, Robert Silvers developed Photomosaic™, the innovative and timely idea of pointillism for the digital age. While likened to Chuck Close fragmented portraiture and the brilliant palette of George Seurat Photomosaics™ are exuberantly colored montages of tiny digital photographs that blend together to form a larger image of popular appeal.
The artist invented this unique technology at the young age of 26 while still a student at the MIT Media Lab. His distinctive new medium immediately dazzled the art world as well as the industry of commercial graphics, gathering world wide acclaim through large scale projects for Fortune, IBM, Lucasfilm Ltd., Mastercard International, Disney and Paramount Pictures and gracing the covers of LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, GEO, WIRED and Playboy’s 45 Anniversary Issue. In addition, Silvers has been commissioned to create highly personalized portraits of Vice President Al Gore, H.M. King Hussein of Jordan, and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to name a few of the high profile personalities whose portraits have been captured by Silver’s intricate technique.
Portraits are Robert Silvers favorite medium of expression. As humans possess a primal urge to recognize and depict faces, the artist considers portraiture to be amongst the most universally compelling imagery. In addition to portraying well-known personalities throughout contemporary culture, Silvers oeuvre also includes fascinating renditions of well-known masterpiece paintings such as Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and various interesting subjects like the World Currency Series illustrated in this catalogue. Breaching the gap between art and science, the artists compositions are always filled with fascinating details that are directly or wittily related to their subject. For instance, when creating a portrait of Anne Frank the artist employed up to 2,304 images of the Holocaust while his rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night is composed of 3.250 images of NASA’s space program. His most recent portrait of Marilyn Monroehas at least 1,776 photographs taken by famed photographer Bruno Bernard from all stages of the actresses’ career, and the commemorative portrait of Princes Diana is appropriately composed of images of flowers.
Silvers’ ingenious software only provides the overall cohesiveness to the subject of his work. In order to achieve the desired effect the artist painstakingly lays out the selected material according to the value and overall theme of the mosaic and coordinates the photos general correspondence to the composite image without resorting to any digital manipulation. The thousands of pictures selected are then scanned, whereupon Silvers genial program pairs them appropriately and assembles a complex matrix of the main subject that reflects the intrinsic theme of its components. At first glance, the Photomosaic™ montage comes into focus within moderate distance, usually an arm’s length away, but upon closer inspection each and every individual photograph or image stands out and becomes readily perceivable. These multiple centers of interest ultimately create a tug between the principal figure and its components, while the viewer is perpetually attracted back and forth between the whole and its parts, drawn to the encyclopedic diversity of imagery. The overall mosaic effect is mesmerizing, inviting close observation through the array of subject matter that mirror the main theme or relate it from a unique optical perspective.
Each Photomosaic™ is produced in a small worldwide edition with the artist reserving the right to exercise the production of 3 artist proofs. Available in two sizes, each Photomosaic™ is printed on Professional Fuji Digital Archive paper and mounted to aluminum. The surface is specially lacquered for protection and glare control.
Robert Silvers is president and CEO of Runaway Technology. He has co-authored and published two books on his work, the first one titled Photomosaics, published in 1997 and Photomosaic Portraits, published in 2000. The artist lives just outside Boston, Massachusetts.