Artist Unveils Monumental Ode to the Pixel for its 50th Birthday


VIENNA, Austria , July 13, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Vienna-based artist, Claude Bossett, unveiled a tribute to the pixel for its 50th Birthday, titled "Pixel". The tribute takes the form of an acrylic painted 60 cm x 60 cm blue square on a 100 cm x 140 cm canvas. It is a "portrait" of a magnified pixel. The tribute makes the otherwise almost microscopic square, quite impossible to oversee. It is one pixel that won't go unnoticed. The magnification creates a sense of importance and offers an element of surprise with a dash of humor.

The blue square is horizontally centered and placed vertically towards the top of the canvas, thus elevating its placement in the scheme of things. The painting is hung high, so the viewer must tilt their head to "look up", to the pixel. The color blue was chosen to express infinite possibility. The white impasto background puts an emphasis on the paint, which has traditionally been a frequently used medium to represent historical figures and momentous happenings.

The actual pixel (a word derived from "picture element") was invented by a group of researchers in 1954, at Yale University. It is unlikely that they foresaw it becoming the building block of modern communication and creation. The pixel is omnipresent, since it is the visual basis for anything done on a computer or mobile phone. It allows us to use interfaces that for example, offer alternatives to physical methods, as is the case with email or e-commerce web sites.

Like most products developed today, magazines, cars and buildings find their beginnings in a pixel. The pixel is undoubtedly the greatest "enabler" of the last 50 years and most likely will continue to be, for the next 50 years.

The artist, Claude Bossett, however was unaware of the pixel's bicentennial birthday, when the painting was created and was surprised to discover this while researching its history. The coincidence that the painting was created during this particular year makes what was initially a personal celebration by the artist into a universal one. Bossett mentions, "The pixel has allowed me to unleash my creativity in any form I please, be it visually, musically or written. I am grateful every time I open (pixel-based graphics software) Adobe Photoshop and am able to create whatever comes to mind. I felt compelled to make a tribute to the invention and the painting `Pixel' seemed like a clear and amusing way to do it."

The painting joins many other historical squares, but differentiates itself in its meaning. The artist Josef Albers for example, created a series of squares called "Homage to the square". His minimalist squares focused on form and color. Albers, in minimalist tradition negated any story or analogy connected to the squares, depicting them in their own right. By comparison, Bossett's square is focused on concept and is in fact an actual depiction or portrait of a historical invention. Perhaps its most significant meaning will result in the viewer realizing how the pixel has changed their life, or which of their capabilities it has enabled to flourish. The painting "Pixel" is currently being auctioned off on eBay and may very well be the most expensive single pixel ever.

About the Artist

Claude Bossett was born in Austria to an American father and an Austrian mother in 1970. He traveled between Austria's Carinthia and Silicon Valley extensively while growing up and received a bachelor degree in art and illustration from San Jose State University in 1994. He has displayed several unique series of art including, actual x-rays handled with acid, Projections of clothing onto models photographed, and freeway night construction imagery. He has developed installations and design work for companies such as Levis, Apple Computer Inc., and Kodak.

To view more artwork, go to Claude Bossett's website,

"Pixel" eBay auction...


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