Thursday, September 22, 2011

Uno Morales

This week I chose horror artist Uno Morales not only for the sense of ineffable dread that can emerge from viewing his moody surrealist scenes, but for his rendering method, which hearkens back to 1-bit black and white computer displays from the 80's. Morales has more work in color on his website (here), but this black and white image more clearly showcases Morales' style. Back when bitmap images were 1-bit, so that each pixel literally could only contain one bit of information (whether the pixel is pure black, or pure white), artists and technicians who prepared images for the computer had to work around these technical limitations to include shading and the illusion of different values. For photos they used dithering, and for graphics and illustration they would use more traditional crosshatching and Ben-Day dots, albeit in a very low-res format and stiff style.

The end result of such a procedure, as shown here, looks both primitive and mechanical, two attributes which have the potential to horrify. The conspicuous black and white pixels remind you of the fact that what you are looking at might have never been committed by pen onto paper, and is merely an arrangement of data meant to trick you into seeing something. The splotches of mechanically drawn crosshatching provide a raw, sort of irritating form of stimulation.Also, another note: You might notice this image is a gif. The artist has subtly animated the image to make it look like you're viewing it on an old computer screen prone to magnetic interference, which I think is a nice touch.


  1. this is crazy, this guy must be so patient. I love the style of the image, reminds me of old castlevania art a bit..

  2. Really cool image. Enjoyed the website even more. It looks as if some of the pictures were cut scenes from an old nintendo videogame. Really like the eerie feel too.

  3. these images appear to be too big and too high quality to fit on an old cathode ray tube, actually I found this image to be a bit humorous with the silly looking crystal child with the tiny penis. Very interesting though.