Ilene Astrahan
New York

Forest Spirit
Electronic Art by Ilene Astrahan
Ilene Astrahan exhibited a number of her digital paintings in Audart's "Salute to Broad Street" exhibition.  She is one of the early pioneers of computer art.  Fascinated by the interplay of light and form, Astrahan tries to translate visions of immaterial energies and apparent chaos, into images.  She uses the computer to deconstruct reality and explore alternate universes enmeshed within mathematical space.  

"Computer graphics is a natural extension of my experiments with liquid light shows during the late Sixties. I attempt to discern and interpret the boundaries between illusion and reality, although I am not sure there is one. I often suspect that the Cosmos is a sort of holographic projection created by a very Super-System programmed along the lines of Fractal Geometry. Can the Universe we appear to inhabit be merely one out of an infinity of possible variations. Are we part of a rather buggy subroutine in the beta version of the software? Maybe the Big Bang is really a Cosmic equivalent of a hard disk crash, a recursive loop or a power fluctuation. I try to express these ideas in my work. 

I do not try to imitate the effects of traditional painting. After all, watercolorists don't imitate oil painting. The artifacts of Computer Graphics such as jaggies, dithering and scan-lines are a valid part of the medium, as are the paint strokes, impasto, canvas texture, etc. of traditional media. The strength of the Computer is its ability to do infinite variations of color and image processing plus being the ultimate collage machine. One could spend a lifetime exploring the variations possible in just one image, learning new software or doing animation. The only drawback to Computer Art is that is an expensive medium. Only in the last few years has it been accessible to artists not connected with large institutions or corporations."   Ilene Astrahan

Astrahan's background is in magic realism and trompe l'oeil painting.  A number of her earlier works were on view during Audart's "Shrines to Fantasy" exhibition, including a jigsaw puzzle executed in the trompe l'oeil style.  Another extremely detailed painting by Astrahan,  titled "Sacred Bowl", received a great deal of attention.  One thinks of the fantasy worlds of Hieronymus Bosch when viewing certain pieces by Astrahan.  

Ilene Astrahan is represented by Galerie Shirley, Geneva Switzerland and ABACI Gallery of Computer Art, Portland, Oregon.  Her work is found in private and public collections in the United States and in Europe and is widely exhibited, internationally.  Astrahan's work has also been featured in numerous publications around the world.

Ilene Astrahan Website

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