A work of art isn’t the sum of its parts. It is an entirely new object with its own singular identity. And so it is with Eric Daigh who uses the humble push pin to create portraits in the style of noted, modern artist Chuck Close. Up close, so to speak, Daigh’s portraits are a collection of pixels in the form of push pins in five colors. While none of the push pin colors even remotely resemble flesh tones, if you back away far enough from the work the appearance is of pinkish brown skin tone. Eric Daigh’s portraits in push pins have won awards and brought him a Guinness World Record for most push pins applied by an individual.
It isn’t clear what caused Eric Daigh to look at a push pin and see pixels but he does declare some admiration for Chuck Close who also works in a grid form to create his portraits. Unlike paints which can be mixed to create the exact hue, push pins are of a set color. Daigh uses blue, red, white, yellow and black push pins to create his masterpieces. Except there are no black push pins so he spray paints green ones. Each portrait requires about 11,000 push pins which Daigh applies by one at a time.
In the end, he aims for a work where the push pins are a secondary consideration for those who view the work. The idea of faking the colors by deceiving the eye could seem to prove Picasso’s point of view that the artist’s job is to find a way to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies because art is not truth. Such pontificating may sound a bit arrogant to anyone who might prefer to go hunting than to museums. After all, doesn’t hunting have as many variables as art, but in different ways?
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