Description Only the VIP political prisoners got their own personal torture room like this one to die in. Blood has permanently stained the floor and the mat on the bed. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge changed Tuol Svay Pray High School, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, into the S-21 torture, interrogation and execution center. Of the 14,000 people who entered, only seven survived. Khmer Rouge recorded interrogations and created an astonishing photographic archive of almost 6,000 S-21 prisoner portraits. Most were sent to the killing fields. Today, S-21 Prison is known as the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide. There is a lot more where this came from. Take a look at my gallery.
Mark Sellers, Abu Dhabi, UAE Member Since November 2008 Artist Statement My gallery is mostly photographs but my pride and joy are the artwork you will find dispersed throughout.
My photographic collection has grown to outnumber my artwork. One of the benefits of being a teacher in the Middle East is the shorter distances to interesting places. Plus, part of our benefit package is to get tickets for an annual trip to our home countries or elsewhere, so we have been all over the place. I look for those artistic captures that would look good in my gallery. One of my favorite places for camera fodder is Singapore and Bali. My kids and wife have turned out to have a good photographer's eye as well and I have added some of their best shots. Most of the photographs in my gallery are from the USA (primarily North Atlantic states), Atlantic Canada, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and some European countries.
Though I am very happy with the gallery photograph collection, I am especially proud of my digital artwork. For my artwork, the drawing is the thing. Though some of my pieces are completely digital, most of my artwork is probably different in a number of ways from the artwork you are used to. Usually an artist starts with a prepared canvas and then proceeds to create a painting that fills up that space. My approach has to be a bit opposite of that. I start with a completed drawing, transform it digitally and then have to create a background to fit it.
My art is a bit of a hybrid since it is not completely digital. I have long had a hobby of making simple random pen drawings that I then paint with gel pens. Gel ink painting in my gallery are made from these quickly made spontaneous expressionist doodle drawing. Some of them turn out purely abstract while others end up looking like representations of something.
These spontaneous expressions are scanned, cleaned up, and then transformed and finished digitally. I use a number of software titles to create the effects. The effects of the programs become my paint brushes.
When you look at my gallery, consider that each item takes a minimum of 6 hours to make, usually takes more than 10 and some take more than 30. The drawings go through a range of transformation. Some of them are clearly still drawings. Others are transformed into something new such as metal sculptures. A very small number are morphed beyond recognition. You’ll notice my use of colors.
I tend to use very bright colors and often contrast them, even clash them sometimes. You’ll also notice that every piece seems to very different from the next.
Each piece is a challenge for me to do something different that I have not done yet. I make an effort to make each piece unique. The focus of each piece is the drawing and how I choose to interpret it. Since each drawing has a unique personality and a completely different interpretation, the end product is then going to look different from any other piece I’ve made. This inconsistency ends up showcasing my creatively in a powerful way.
Strangely, I'm an artist 'by accident'. I've always been generally very creative and imaginative, and visual art is something I've recently 'grown into'. I've always loved color. I have no favorite color -- I love them all. I've always doodled to maintain focus. My doodles quickly developed into extremely detailed drawings that have gotten a lot of attention. Some of my most interesting pieces are among those I made early on.
Digital art for me is a way of 'sharing' something interesting of myself that has developed naturally without any formal training.
I am married with three daughters and I am American, but I live and work in the United Arab Emirates as a university English teacher. In a way I am a kind of American export. I have been here since 1998 and before that I was working in Indonesia. My childhood in Minnesota as well as all my experiences in Africa and various Asian countries have greatly influenced my work.