Pixel perfect

Cristiano Pintaldi, an Italian artist uses three primary colours ( red,green,blues) on a black background to create ' pixelised' art pieces.

SINGAPORE- When Italian artist Cristiano Pintaldi put up his one-of-a-kind painting for sale, it was snapped up by a Singaporean art collector for $82,000 in mere seconds.

The art piece, which measures 258cm by 138cm, was of an iconic landmark in Singapore - Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

Seeing an image of MBS, he was struck by its ingenuity. So Mr Pintaldi created the landmark - pixel by pixel, each of which is only about 1 sq cm - in a month.

The work is painstaking and it involves drawing outlines of an image on a black canvas and applying different masks for different colour layers.

The 44-year-old has garnered worldwide acclaim from participating in international art exhibitions, such as the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.

He is now in Singapore for his Asian debut to showcase his exhibition "Suspended Animations" at Gillman Barracks Block 6, which includes exhibits on a wide variety of genres.

Half of the art pieces are already sold, with prices ranging from $35,000 to $170,000. All 30 pieces will be distributed to their respective buyers once the exhibition ends.

From lightning striking the Eiffel Tower to an alien sighting, Mr Pintaldi looks for connections beyond the perceptible.

"I construct my art with the notion that the subjective world of each individual can be conceived into reality," he said.

Believe it or not, Mr Pintaldi is the only artist in the world to create his works using pixels.

His paintings consist of red, green and blue pixels which allows the eye to interpret the painting via colour tessellations (pattern of shapes which come together to form an object).

When he was 19, Mr Pintaldi experimented with his first pixelised art piece.

After three years of research, he made his first painting using only three colours - red, blue and green.


He said: "I wanted to create a new concept of art that represented my generation. Pixels were the driving force behind video and television culture, and I conceptualised my technique based on that."

So how does he create works with only pixels?

By intuition and experience, Mr Pintaldi maintained.

He first draws outlines of the image on a black canvas using a white pencil. He then applies different masks for each colour layer and draws more outlines.

Next, he uses an airbrush to paint intricate coloured pixels layer by layer.

Mr Pintaldi uses the colours of red, blue and green to create a spectrum of other colours such as yellow, pink and black.

He can only guess the final result, which comes to life at the end of his painting.

He said that his craft evolves with technology, and he is experimenting with different pixel sizes based on modern television resolution.

Mr Usmanpo Njo, 54, a local art collector, said: "I found the exhibition very intriguing and Pintaldi's technique is mind-boggling.

"The 'Christ the Redeemer' painting is my favourite as it's very powerful."

The Suspended Animations exhibition is open to the public until Dec 7.

This article was first published on Sep15, 2014.
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