Paul Kneale’s collaborations with scanners produce a dynamic range of images, from iridescent bursts of color to more subdued fields of linear forms. He considers each device to have its own visual personality, and these idiosyncrasies, along with the conditions of the surrounding space, influence the qualities of each exposure. Through his scanner paintings, Kneale intends to capture an impression of atmosphere, and present the sensory capabilities of digital mechanisms.
Sfumato LMAO is part of a new series of scanner paintings that explores the evolving integration of painting with digital imagery. This theme is suggested in the title, as an acronym ubiquitous to social messaging has been appended to an art historical term; sfumato is referential of the subtle blurring of tones distinct to oil painting. Kneale produced these works during a stay in Florida, where he generated shadows and haze by harnessing natural light; counter-intuitively, when scanners are operated in bright conditions, the images they produce become darker. The inky black haze smeared across the selected work is referential of sfumato, despite representing light as opposed to pigment. Transmuting traditional techniques through the visual capabilities of scanners, Paul Kneale confounds painting with digital processes.