Travess Smalley

To describe Travess Smalley’s work, one could employ a number of terms—painting, photography, sculpture, collage, digital, physical, virtual—without fully capturing what the artist achieves. In his own words, his practice aims at creating an experience “where the viewer’s visual vocabulary just draws a blank and they can no longer distinguish the digital from the real.” For his “Vector Weaves” series, Smalley employs a hybrid digital/analog method that he has called creating “Feedback Loops.” First printing vector-based patterns onto paper with different degrees of transparency, the artist then layers the prints and scans them into one image. The resulting abstract, colorful collages are enlarged and printed on vinyl, then stretched over aluminum frames. By using Photoshop as an extension of his material artmaking, Smalley is able to archive the different processes that he applies to individual images, enabling them to be used again and creating a rich platform for quotation and alteration of his past works.