Charles Wiese also uses computers to give physical shape and sumptuous detail to otherwise immaterial worlds. His supersaturated images... downplay their identity as computer-generated offspring in order to play up their capacity to capture your imagination.
When you are looking at these phantasmagorical landscapes, and are entranced by their meticulous orchestrations of space, you don't care how they were made. What counts are the experiences they stimulate and the memories they trigger.
It is also curious to note that Wiese's newest - and best - works look more like paintings... than his earlier endeavors. This suggests that his work on the computer has reached a new stage of mutation, that his digitized images are less indebted or connected to lens-based images (photographs) than before. More importantly, it also suggests that the old oppostion between fact and fiction - that arose with the invention of photography - has lost much of its power.
Wiese's gravity-defying pictures, in which recognizable elements harmoniously coexist with abstract patterns and mysterious forms, demonstrate that the question of whether an image is telling the truth or propagating lies is less interesting that knowing if it works, if it sustains your heightened attention.
- David Pagel
from the 1996 Core Exhibition Catalog
Wiese has a long history working with the computers. The first encounter was
in 1974 studying for a twelve year career as an aircraft designer and rocket
scientist. This may explain, in part, why he has the facility to do what he
In 1991, Wiese began to use a computer in his explorations of photography and art. He was struck by the strangeness of working “virtually” where the differences were truly felt. The tactile character of real materials (film and paper and chemistry, paint) vanished – swapped with the seductive glow of simulation.
The content of his work is driven by the quirks of his personal imagery and politics. It is a synthesis of many different types of mark-making, mixed in a way that unifies them into an unexpected simulation. His work combines his drawing, photography, painting, and collage, all scanned, combined and then printed and varnished on a wood support. Lacking the tactile element, Wiese must transport himself into the computer and imagine not only the outcome, but the process.
For Wiese, transporting himself into the computer is liberating. His work shows no clear artistic influences. Instead, we seem to glimpse a visual depiction of the artist’s subconscious, creating images which sometime evoke a symbolic and eerie atmosphere. And the resulting combinations make remarkable use of color. Wiese’s color constructs are complex, vivid and at times startling. The computer has become a visual MixMaster, a portal to a virtual workspace. His technical mastery is his paintbrush through which he can freely pour out the images conjured in his most unusual imagination.
Houston, TX 2004