Chris Natrop

various sizes | machined cast acrylic sheet, ultra chrome print | 2009
Solo Exhibition | Diana Lowenstein Fine Art, Miami

Miami Cloud Machine is a series of eight intricately machined sculptural works made from an ultra-chrome print that has been laminated between two acrylic sheets. Each work is flat and hangs vertically on the wall by spacers adhered to the back of each piece. The top layer of frosted-clear acrylic slightly obscures the ultra-chrome image beneath, creating a diffuse scattering of colored-light throughout its elaborate, router-cut surface. The vague imagery that emerges is printed large-scale from low-resolution jpegs as well as stills from his film, “Dewdrop Redux”. The images have also been digitally lightened to create a ghostly counterpart to the original. The result is a nebulous, large-format image that recedes readily into evanescent abstraction. More reminiscent of a fantastical cloud formation, the physical image is then adhered to its crystalline acrylic substrate and machine-cut from Natrop’s exact computer-drawings. These drawings, aesthetically similar to those of Natrop’s hand-cut paper works, are wholly constructed using only computer tools. “Cloud Machine”, having its basis from salvaged web-images, in a sense, pays homage to cyberspace. Although Natrop uses the computer to facilitate all of his non-paper-based artwork, he always initiates the process by first creating a paper template, then scanning that into the computer for further development. For “Cloud Machine” it was necessary for him to work completely on the computer to maintain conceptual continuity with its digital origin. The result is a new artwork reshaped by generation-loss and solidified through fleeting memory.