London-based artist Nick Gentry breathes life into discarded floppy disks, film negatives and X-rays he collects from his fans. Gentry, then, turns the impersonal and unappealing items into breathtaking portraits of imagined identities. The subject is the actual canvas, as opposed to the person painted onto it, who is merely a representation of the information stored on the technology. "It's a history of the things that happen in a life, collected into one portrait," Gentry says.
His latest works in social art project exploring identity, privacy, and collective history through portraiture and discarded technology are currently exhibited at Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami.
The exhibition explores the idea of privacy, protection, and security through cultivating identity. He observes that today we go to great lengths to create a digital identity in addition to the actual lives we live, with the belief that these online records are only growing in importance and will outlive us.
"Most poignant is the fact that his medium is primarily about the human experience," Gallery Director Robert Fontaine says. "It's how we see ourselves, how we are, what we leave behind, and who we have become as a result."
The exhibition showcases a new series of floppy disc portraits, as well as light box portraits, which are created by layering film negatives and x-rays backlit by LED strips. "It's like painting with light," Gentry explains. This medium creates not only an emotional history, but also a biological one.