The pieces are initially composed digitally using a variety of original photographs, videos, and online images. The goal is to use the familiar and beautiful to draw the viewer into a conversation about finding balance and joy within the chaos of modern life. Migrating birds, isolated figures, clouds, and waves are used as visual language.
Paint Still Image
The digital composition is used as source material for the painting, which typically includes an underpainting and numerous layers of detail. Often there are two or three completely different paintings under the final image, creating rich texture and atmosphere.
Re-work Video and Painting Simultaneously
When the painting is close to complete, it’s moved to the projector wall where Baily begins to create the motion element using video-editing software and casting it on the piece, both to provide additional texture and convey the passage of time. He then paints overtop the projection to bring the two components together into a cohesive finished product.
Installation was one of the primary challenges of this process. There are significant technical barriers to installing a video that can loop indefinitely and also be flexibly positioned on the wall. To that end, Baily coded a custom application that enables one to adjust the size, position, perspective, and rotation, and then seamlessly loop the video — which allows the work to remain on display uninterrupted for the duration of a month-long show.
For permanent installation, the painting, projector and a micro-computer are installed, along with a portable keyboard and trackpad. This enables the collector to leave the projector off day-to-day to enjoy the raw painting and turn it on for the full experience.
About the Artist
Chris Baily was born in 1981 outside of Washington DC, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His love of art began early, and in 1997 he enrolled in the Visual Art Center in Silver Spring, a rigorous program designed to teach the technical fundamentals of painting and drawing. While there, Chris was inspired by the investigation of mortality and life cycles. His series of animals in varying states of decay earned him a YoungArts award, a Presidential Scholar award, and the opportunity to show at the Smithsonians National Portrait Gallery
Chris went on to study at Cornell University for his BFA. In Ithaca, he began experimenting with video projection. He was fascinated by the way projected light on canvas creates a richness and texture that blends the fluidity of video with the meditative experience of viewing a painting.
He began to work with subtle motion: a blinking stoplight, the flash of cars alongside a late night train. His goal was to capture true stillness - the feeling of time passing while the world remains at rest. In 2002, however, digital video and projection were still a relatively unevolved technology. Render times and bulky projectors made it difficult to conduct iterative exploration
Chris began a career in Experience Design, architecting web applications and digital products. Learning how to code and build software became critical when in 2013, Chris began exploring projection again. In the intervening years, advances in projector technology and web based applications, and multi layervideo editing had realigned what's possible. It allowed him to finally achieve the results he'd imagined a decade earlier.
Chris has taken these investigations of stillness, silence and beauty and begun to deconstruct and rearrange them. Migrating birds, passing clouds, waves in the ocean - are indications of time as the metronome for our shared reality. He pulls these elements in to create visual spaces that have an inner logic and dimension that highlights the surreality of the composition. He then uses looped videos to capture subtle movements and achieve an uncanny otherness, a meditative quality that speaks to a deeper spirituality and transcendence
Bushwick, NY March 2015
Solo show at the Parenthesis Art Space. Featured Daydreaming, and Daytona, 2005 and the Birds collection.
Christine Minas Fine Art at The Untitled Space
New York, NY November 2014
Group show at the Untitled Space also featuring the work of Gentleman's Game, Rachel Mueler, and Linda Lee Nicholas