Thomas Elder Design

The Treatchery of (CG)Images, 2015

The Treachery of (CG)Images, 2015

It may surprise people that the home furnishings company, IKEA, does not use photographs in most to all of its catalog images. IKEA admittedly makes over 75% of its entire catalog images using computer generated images or CGI.

René Magritte painted his iconic pipe and aptly labeled the painting to express truth and purposeful perplexity; The Treachery of Images: This is not a Pipe, (translated into English.) Do computer generated images, CGI, propose another truth? Or, do they simply represent an image based on a familiarity of experience; like another painting? The uncanniness is surreally real.

Using the original (not a) pipe as a reference, I created a Computer Generated, CG image of the experience, printed on canvas and within an inch of actual size of Magritte’s painting. I call it a proxygraph or an invented word to describe something that looks photographic but stands in proxy for a photographic object. The pipe image was created in 3D software. The type was recreated by pen and digital scan to allow for the high-resolution lighting and purposeful (CG) studio light shadows.

What does the viewer really look at? Now that IKEA can represent about 75% of their entire catalog of products as CG renders, not photographs. Click on any online catalog image in the Bedroom, Bath, Kitchen, (even the food props,) or Dining set are not photographs. Not chairs, not cupboards, not pots, not pans, not something. For this artwork, this is not a pipe; aptly named, (again,) This is not a pipe really is; not a pipe.

Set You Up Fresh!

I am an artist that works in 3D media and a graphic designer that can make a damn fine logo or label design. I was an early member of the small team of people that dreamed to build a fully accessable playground. I advised on Idaho's first ADAAG Accesable playground named Adventure Island located in Meridian, Idaho, USA.