CGI is one of the few areas of art that’s still concerned with being the absolute best. Who can create the most lifelike figures? What company can blur the boundaries between real landscapes and invented environments? The goal is simple: realism. Or better put, the goal is what we think is realism, until we see CGI that’s one step more realistic. The best always changes, so the goal always changes.
Takeshi Murata is an artist who’s stepped outside this rat race. He creates intentionally crude computer-generated scenes that sit outside any place or time in graphic development. His latest collection, Synthesizers, looks like surrealism by an odd-world, pre-Jobsonian Pixar, or a maybe a sentient version of Maya attempting to make its own art.
Murata is self-taught by video tutorials. He creates most of the objects himself but also fills the scene with stock models. No doubt, this combination leads to (and even revels in) the use of 3-D modeling software tropes–chess boards, balloons, marble textures, and unfinished white shapes glowing under the harsh, artificial glow of a unidirectional virtual light source.
These meaningless objects are then peppered with casual cultural artifacts that imply a temporal setting, like a 1982 movie poster, a 1990s-influenced Starbucks cup or a post-2000 flat-screen TV. It’s a small touch that further removes the imagery from any technological era. You’re left only able to soak in the ambiguity and absurdity of meticulously crafted digital nonsense.
You ask yourself why a bike is bent, why a Gatorade bottle has been stuffed with a model ship, and how a chessboard tipped over with no one around. And then you realize, wait, it’s all just fake anyway.