Digital art
by Joel Mariano

An exhibition of seven 3D images

"Born in Manila, Philippines, Joel F. Mariano grew up in California's San Francisco Bay Area since the age of seven. His first memories of doing art was at age four, on All Souls Day, when it was customary for Catholic Filipinos to celebrate the lives of the dead by parading and paying respect in the cemeteries. During the night, candles were abundant, and he gathered melting wax to form little sculptures of people. The other children feared that spirits embodied the little figurines--it was this time that Mariano first realized the power of art, and his affinity for sculpture. Also at this age, he was amazed at the imaging power of television, and his mother often had to stop him from playing with the horizontal, and going too close to the screen as he observed the phosphors.

"He got his undergraduate degree in Fine Art from the University of La Verne, La Verne, CA (1980-84). At ULV he got a firm foundation in the fundamentals of drawing, oil painting, etching, and sculpture. However, he never forgot his fascination for the electronic screen and the moving image. His Senior art show's theme was 'Motion in Stillness,' concentrating on the image or sculpture's composition in potential kinetic energy. This led him to decide to do his graduate studies in experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA (1984-87). At CalArts he experimented with real-time analog video synthesis, and computer graphics. It was here that he began to process many of his drawings with video and computer graphics. He explored animation not only for cinematic sense, but also considered it as a way to obtain stills in a time-based medium. His experiments also involved percussive modulation of the image--a technique he is still experimenting with in today's 3D computer graphic and video imaging.

"Very aware of the fundamentals of traditional arts that have been with artists for hundreds of years, he explored software (which often changed every six months) imaging in ways that would be unique to itself rather than imitation of oil or watercolor painting. He has now amassed a critical amount of work in this vein. Some are purely synthetic, and others incorporate textures from nature such as tropical plant foliage or hand drawings. As a fine artist, he has been focusing on the unique visual consequences of computer graphic imaging--as well as combining it with traditional hand drawings, videos, and photographs. His goal is for the art to speak for itself where the computer imaging techniques are not essential for admiring the aesthetics. Many people who collect his work have no idea how it was done--just that it is new and different.

"Mariano attempts to inspire a pure uncontrived vitality with his images by orchestrating colorful, spatial, rhythmic, and textural relationships contained within the virtual forms. He cultivates the mysterious, the spiritual, and the magical notions of structure within abstract and stylized designs."



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