Musings of a muse
by Marilyn Karp
The Art of Tony Karp

Tony Karp is both an artist and a technologist. This combination gives him a unique view of things and the ability to create artworks that engage your mind and delight your eyes. Some of his major works include:

The Techno-impressionist Museum

Pinhead with lines of force - The Art of Tony Karp - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

The Techno-Impressionist art movement, which Tony began in the last decade of the Twentieth Century, appeared to contradict the popular art movements of the time. In some ways, it was similar to the break from tradition that marked the first Impressionist movement in the 19th Century. Evolving into the present, Techno-Impressionism is a "trans-millennial" art movement.

Techno-Impressionism uses modern tools and methods to create images that appeal to the viewer in the same manner as the works of the first Impressionist movement. Tony did not fall prey to the lure of the technical and become a "computer artist" or "digital artist."

The Techno-Impressionist Museum first opened to the public on the World Wide Web in 1995. It was an experiment in new ways of displaying art. Tony realized that "Internet Art" - which required both good art and a gallery that could properly display it - was an art form in itself. The entire Techno-Impressionist movement is an artwork. In a sense, an art movement (with its own museum) is the ultimate artwork.

The Techno-Impressionist museum is different from other museums on the web because the art is easy to view. Much of the art was created especially to be viewed under the unusual environment that defines the web. The layout of the museum makes it easy to navigate. You get the maximum of art with a minimum of mouse clicks.

Art in the 3rd dimension
Spirit of Divionisn Box and Lid - The Art of Tony Karp - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

A while ago, Tony decided he would explore how he could print his work using a 3D printer.

Each of the pieces started out as an image displayed on the web, as a print, in one of Tony's books, or all of these.

Most of the work you see done on a 3D printer is based on mathematics or sculpture. It's all one color.

Tony's work is very different. It starts with an existing image. He forms the shape by manipulating the image. This is how he gets the image on every surface, front, back, inside of both the box and the lid. The image is actually projected onto and through the surfaces of the piece. It was actually printed on space.

Until now, most artworks have been done on flat surfaces, all the way from cave paintings, through frescoes, paintings on wood and canvas, lithographs and etchings, all the way through photographic prints. In each case, an artwork was developed on an existing flat surface and is only on the surface. I think of my inkjet printer, laying down the ink on a piece of fine watercolor paper. Turn the print over and you'll find blank paper with, perhaps, the date and some scribbled notes.

Now these images can be projected into the 3rd dimension. And now, for the first time, it's in full color.


New York City Dream Bubble - The Art of Tony Karp - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

Tony first got the idea for these bubble pictures while looking at a NASA photograph of Earth from space. It seemed so round and perfect. And from this, bubble pictures were born. While others have placed a bubble in their pictures, Tony has placed the world into his bubbles.

Bubble pictures (Spherism) can be created by a number of different methods. One way is by using a camera lens that gives a fisheye vision of the world. Tony built his own fisheye lens in 1962, made from surplus optical lenses, and attached to my Canon single lens reflex camera. (See Modern Photography, September 1962.) This lens was also used by fashion photographer Hiro to shoot a magazine cover for art director Henry Wolf. Tony still use fisheye-style lenses from time to time on his current digital cameras.

The other way to create bubble pictures is by "spherizing" them on the computer. Right now, I'm experimenting with the "Spherical Miracle" plug-in made by Wilkington Smythe. This plug-in is quite versatile. It can produce either circular images or elliptical ones.

Tony Karp Books

Techno-Impressionism Art and Technology Book Cover - The Art of Tony Karp - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

Tony spent over a year working on a new approach to art and photography books designed to be viewed on a computer. There are three books available at his online bookstore:

The Artmuse Variations began with a photograph that another photographer sent me. It's a self portrait. The book contains fifty variations on this one image.

When in Rome...An Artist's Journey is the result of a trip to Italy in 2003. It's all photographs, with a little magic thrown in

Techno-Impressionism -- Art and Technology is a collection of photographs that goes from 1959 to the present. It's divided into different genres.

The books are interactive PDFs, and can be viewed on any computer that has Adobe Reader. The books were created in InDesign and Acrobat, plus some special software to add features that Adobe left out.
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Copyright 1957-2019 Tony & Marilyn Karp
Marilyn Karp is Tony Karp's muse.
About this muse
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