Looking at the digital paintings of artist George Redhawk is a mind-bending experience. His images swirl and spiral with an energy all their own, turning into seemingly living, breathing organisms. In the paintings, human skin flows like water or sand, solids become liquids, and the boundaries between objects — the ones we usually take for granted — are blurred. Even more impressive is that these are .gif images, but Redhawk manages to make them look like they’re in smooth, continuous motion.
The surreal images are evocative enough on their own, but the added motion gives them a greater sense of emotion, and the moving elements are used as an additional artistic medium.
Yet there’s something even more mind-bending about these images, and it has to do with how they’re made. To know that, you need to know something about Redhawk himself. He’s legally blind.
Redhawk creates his images via a series of visual aids and digital programs, the combination of which he’s mostly developed himself. To create the images, he uses photo-morphing software. “Morphing software is designed to morph one photo to another photo, but a long time ago, I discovered that if I morph a photo to the exact same photo, I could get some pretty amazing movement out of it,” he explained.
The strange and sometimes jarring visual effects are the result of morphing, and they also have a deeper dimension for Redhawk.
“I began to explore this medium as a means to challenge and in some cases, disturb the visual sense of ‘order,’ very much in the same way that my vision has become a constant challenge to me,” he said.
In another interview, Redhawk stressed that all people with impaired vision experience things differently, as vision is very complex.
Thanks to his computer setup, Redhawk can communicate his own artistic vision. “I am fortunate that with the help of visual aides, functions, and softwares found in computers to help the visually impaired, I’m able to function online pretty well,” he stated.
In fact, he says, the Internet has been central in his connection with the rest of the world.
“The computer is an environment that can be controlled: size, lighting, contrasts, etc. can be adjusted to suit my needs, [and] my morphing software has a magnification box; without this feature, none of this would be possible. I can pretty much control the two feet in front of my face in a computerized world, but the real world? Not so easy.”
Redhawk aptly refers to his work as “The World Through My Eyes”. He wants to encourage disabled people to pursue their passions, even if they think their challenges are insurmountable, and hopes his art can serve as inspiration for them. He also wants his works to serve as a reminder that there’s a beautiful vision in all of us.
Here is another blind man who created amazing art pieces: Blind Man Creates Stunning Works of Art