Enda O’Donoghue is an Irish-born artist working in Germany; a former computer programmer and web designer, he has explored the technium through a variety of media. His most recent work consists of found digital snapshots reproduced in oils, rigorously breaking down the pixels, moire patterns, and artifacts that cloud the image; as the making-of video shows, the painting process itself has the quality of a confoundingly slow upload.
The project is reminiscent of the work of Andy Denzler, whose painting reproduce the glitchy noise of poorly-handled digital image files. But O’Donoghue seems to be taking aim at another aspect of so much online imagery: its literal blurring of the private and the public. At his web site, O’Donoghue explains that he meticulously tracks down the makers of his found images and secures their permission—not only to make sure that no one objects to his use of the images, but as part of the artistic project, treating even throwaway images as enduring creative works. In so doing, O’Donoghue is showing more respect than most of us do even to our own images. Snapping photos of ourselves in mirrors and windows, we mix intense self-regard and amour-propre with the ephemeral, nebulous quality of digital photography. We’re staring so hard at ourselves that we’re starting to see right through to the other side. —thanks for the tip, David Black