Real-world illustration project - ROTOVISION BOOK, 1998
Bavari's training in scene painting and history of art at Rome's Academy of Fine Arts gave him a strong grounding in classic techniques such as oil painting, various engraving styles, watercolours and photography, and with this classical background, he felt the need to experiment with a new visual language which would sum up all my artistic experiences'. Since leaving college he has worked as a freelance artist and illustrator, mixing his college-taught skills with self-taught computer skills to create work for clients such as Adobe, McCann Erickson and numerous Italian museums, galleries and publishing houses.
He has also exhibited in competitions and exhibitions woridwide. Without distancing himself from the classical canons, 'indeed, quoting in my work the symbolic importance of the sacred images represented in the 14th- and 15th-century work of artists such as Giotto, Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca, 'Bavari recently began to elaborate on his personal techniques,'using industrial and organic products from nature before incorporating photographic manipulation then digital manipulation'. Last year (1997) he started work on a project which would draw its inspiration from classical mythology. I Felt a desire to work on something personal, a series of art which would represent the current state of my artistic research and experiences,' says Bavari. Bavari began to consider the individual elements For the piece: 'My Favourite materials are those sea-swept objects tossed on the beach after a storm; worn and shaped by the elements, I feel they are surrounded by a supernatural aura. While I rarely remove them, I do take lots of pictures of them, 'he says.' l also love taking photos in natural science and history museums where each object, being outside its natural context, immediately takes on an appearance of metaphysical, almost magical beauty,'he adds.
Bavari is keen to use his classical art training in his images, so will often create backdrop scenes for his digital work from oil paints, engraving, water colours and other traditional methods, using hands. brushes, nails, combs and rags'.Sometime for the backgrounds he paint oils directly on to a sheet of zinc which was then pressed on to watercolour paper that had been soaked. 'Generally I always try to connect my subjects and elements in a special ambient which is ambiguous and undefined, so l like to create backgrounds painted in oils and add layers and mix them with scans of negatives which have been chemically treated, and beyond that ripped or mutilated in some way,'explains Bavari.
'Whereas in the past I worked and experimented a lot with traditional photography, arriving at interesting techniques in things like camera obscura, now I tend to concentrate on the level oF experience l've gained in the past Few years, and I do all that experimentation with digital techniques on the computer, an area where the absence of materials reigns but where everything you do is exactly what you would have done with the old methods,' he says. Elaborating on that, he says: 'I mean the mental, artistic process and the organisational criteria required in planning a piece of work. The big difference of course is that you lose an intermediate stage, the manual one, but that's not important... 'Having assembled the piece in my head, I turn to the computer to start realising the idea in Photoshop,'says Bavari. Lach element is precisely scanned and made into a single layer, and sometimes the same object is duplicated into more layers which are differentiated through various tool options relative to those used on corresponding layers. 'Often I am working with 100 layers, and through moving these layers and refining them I begin to form the composition of the piece,' says Bavari. Generally he converts his transparencies and photos into greyscale, using personalised settings to arrive at effects that were previously only achievable through the use of chemicals'.
Through extensive experimentation, Bavari has created a personal library of colour effects, 'synthesising things like the tonal effects in metals, such as selenium, and trying to capture the nature of an object or colour through the textures and tones which characterise it,' he says.
'The image is then converted to RGB in order to utilise all the parameters of control on the tones and colour, such as levels, curve, colour balance, selective colour etc. Along with commands such as calculations and apply image, which perform mathematical calculations on the pixels, you can achieve effects which are unexpected, but pleasingly so,'adds Bavari. 'Once the composition is complete, I start to mess it up or add dirt to the image by superimposing textures and adding dust and scratches, along with blurring and contrasting details. I try not to go overboard on this, letting it develop in an intuitive or fluid way, I think in a painterly way.' Finally, Bavari outputs his work on to photographic paper up to 80 x 120cm, using the Lambda system, 'a kind of big digital eniarger which writes the image directly to the paper using lasers based on the RGB colours.
Yolanda Zappaterra, 1998