The Unimaginable Suffering of St Sebastian
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This unique single-edition artwork is based on thirty baroque paintings of the passion of the Saint Sebastian. Sebastian was the first Christian martyr, and in the classical paintings he is shown as a young man, spotless, beautiful and blameless in his suffering as he is pierced by arrows. The classical works carry a strange mixture of suffering and young nude sensuality, and has inspired many homo-erotic works.
After premilimary adjustments and cutting, the artist has inputted the works into an artificial intelligence algorithm. The program looks for similarities in forms, colours, textures to generate its own version of the Passion of St Sebastian. The program however, cannot discover the feelings in the pictures, making the suffering saint into pure digital painting, with all passion erased. For the computer, the passions of the saint is simply unimaginable.
The artist has finally combined the resulting output from the process into a large digital collage. And when we humans see the resulting work, we start reading suffering and sensuality into the work again, like a rediscovery of the passion of the saint.
Trygve Skogrand (b. 1967) lives and works in Asenfjord, Norway. After originally educating as a Civil Engineer, he has been working as an artist using computers as his artistic tool since the late 1990s. Skogrand's works have been exhibited in Oslo, Trondheim, Malmö, London, Edinburgh and Berlin, and been published as several art books.