Gorin brings his virtual artwork to life

Published on December 1, 2021

Various artwork by Brandon Gorin.

NORTH EAST, Md. – On the heels of record sales for digital artwork by Christie’s auction house earlier this year, “non-fungible tokens” or NFT’s as they are known in the art world, have become the talk of the town. While this art medium is currently trending, the idea of using digital technology to create artwork is an old concept for Cecil County’s Brandon Gorin.

Gorin, who has worked in traditional art mediums his entire life, began utilizing digital tools more than ten years ago. This work has culminated into his most recent exhibition, the Four Letter Word Series, that is now on display at the Milburn Stone Theatre Gallery on the North East Campus of Cecil College.

“When I started the digital stuff, I decided to make 10,000 images, and I made a rule for myself that there would be a two-hour span between the creation of each image. Different ideas and projects came from that concept as I slowly worked towards 10,000 images,” said Gorin, who is currently at more than 12,400 images.

Gorin’s electronic tool of choice is an iPhone, which he uses to take photographs, manipulate the images, color and draw each piece of his artwork, and design the final project. While he has used traditional computers to create some of his works, Gorin enjoys the convenience of having his phone handy at all times so he can create while riding the bus or sitting in a café.

“A lot of people care about the phone part of my digital art, and for me, it is just the tool in my pocket that I can reach. I am not unlazy. If you are going to give me the easiest tool, I am going to use the easiest tool in any situation,” said Gorin.

To create the elements for his work, Gorin primarily uses three apps. The first is Glitche, which turns images into pixelated, glitched-out works of art that can be saved as GIF files. The second is Photo Leap that can recreate every subtle aspect of actual film, with great attention to general accuracy, color separation, skin tones, and grain texture. The third is Layout by Instagram. This tool is ideal for making collages and allows for creating a one-of-a-kind layout by remixing photos. Layout’s smooth, intuitive process gives users complete creative control.

But using a cellphone presented Gorin with many challenges, such as storage space for high-resolution pieces. He developed several workarounds with the aid of the Cloud, where he fills up the phone’s memory and then uploads the files. Another pitfall is Glitche does not allow for the export of high-resolution images, so Gorin places the piece in Photo Leap to digitize the image.

From his thousands of images, Gorin began creating collages through layers. Because the iPhone is backlit by nature, Gorin was able to include vibrant bright colors. During this phase of his artistic development, the iPhone presented another challenge as it would only allow for five layers at a time. That number has increased to 12 layers for the newer generations of iPhones, but Gorin worked around this problem by saving each group as a new layer, permitting more layers to be added.

“These creations became good enough that I said, ‘I can print these out and display in different exhibits,’” said Gorin, who takes more than three months between creating the piece and having it printed. His Four Letter Word Series is of older work as he is currently working on landscapes.

Gorin, the Assistant Technical Director for the Milburn Stone Theatre in North East, Md., has included a sticker machine in his current exhibit where visitors can insert 50 cents and take home a tiny version of the show. While this exhibition is non-virtual, Gorin’s art is ordained for the virtual world where he posts all his creations on Instagram under his name. The Four Letter Word Series Exhibition runs through May 2022.

The Milburn Stone Theatre Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. To learn more about the Milburn Stone Theatre, call the box office at 410-287-1037.