TV Eyes/Happy Happy- signed limited edition silkscreen diptych with gold leaf, diamond dust and glazes by Dan Baldwin.
Originally conceived as two separate pieces, chance led to TV Eyes and Happy Happy being placed next to each other in Dan Baldwin’s studio. Viewing them next to each other made the artist consider them both in a new light and see parallels and connections between them that he had not originally considered. Baldwin re-worked the right side of TV Eyes so that the abstract composition of Happy Happy seemed to flow into it, creating a diptych that moves from figurative to abstraction and from complexity to simplicity.
Happy Happy is an abstract exercise in colour and form, in which Baldwin plays with the ideas of art as therapy, and how chance can be incorporated into art. Ink dripped from pipettes created the lines of the grid; the element of chance dictating whether the lines merge, become fatter or thinner or veer off. He then counted every blank area created by the grid (1829 in total) filling each one with one of one hundred colour tones he had mixed. The act of filling each blank square and choosing the tone that created the best balance and harmony was a very satisfying and almost therapeutic process for the artist,
‘You realise that an experiment in randomness is not possible. As an artist you are making instinctive decisions-may be subconsciously-all the time; which colour should sit next to another and so on. There is a satisfaction in being liberated from figurative composition, being free to balance colour and form only. Once the work was completed I found it really hard to drag my eyes away from it; there is something mesmerising about 100 colours competing with each other and merging together. It reminded me of when you stare at a television screen and your eyes go off into pixellated abstraction.’
TV Eyes reflects both Baldwin’s concerns as the parent of a young child and the modern domestic environment generally. Figures, symbols, and motifs pertinent to these ideas populate the composition, and as the eyes of a telly addict glaze over and become mesmerised, so TV Eyes melts into the abstract colour grid of Happy Happy; after all what is a television screen but millions of tiny pixels of colour? The photographic image of a young boy on the left side of the piece represents the innocence and vulnerability of children as they are exposed to mass culture through the television screen. Warm domestic and childhood motifs: the loving mother, toys, chicks, childish scribbling, are contrasted with darker imagery: skulls and eye sockets being pecked by those afore-mentioned innocent chicks, as well as scientific motifs- reflecting the beneficial educational power of TV.
TV Eyes and Happy Happy can also be purchased individually.