A Post About Droste

In which our amateur blogger plays the role of self-aggrandizing art critic. See Dan Dreifort’s Droste collection here. Read on for pedantic Droste stuff.

pre-droste

Always bad web-form to refer to a theme element which might later change, but see that banner up there? It’s a Droste effect applied to a picture I took in NYC on September 21, 2001, just ten days after 911. My digital camera (a Fuji Finepix) served me well at the time, but its 640 x 480 output pales and pixelates next to even the cheapest digital cameras available today. Still, I really like that picture.

Not even worthy of Droste!

I didn’t use a flash for the first snap of this picture. The dark foreground makes the metallic fence look cold and constraining, confining and defining the entire composition. How ironic then, that illuminating the foreground barrier really delivered a sense of openness? I’m not saying it’s an inherently bad image, but this is the first and last time I’ll show it. You’re welcome.

The one I Drosted.
Much better. 2001

Shortly after my trip to post-911 New York, I doctored the version of the picture taken with the flash. First I cropped it to focus attention. Who needs the green of trees in this, um, artistic endeavor? Not me! Limiting the image’s color palette provided subjective focus perhaps just as much as cropping. Regardless, it’s around this time I came to call the picture “Jung Gym” for what may be obvious pun-inspired reasons. But cropping wasn’t enough.

Banksy? Meh. He don’t Droste.

Next on the image doctoring docket, a pass through what looks like a Photoshop cutout filter with some selective digital hand painting wherein the artist introduces fresh, bold color to the study. Enamored by this piece, I tacked on my dotcom-du-jour and slapped the would-be commercial art on a coffee mug. It has not sold well. A dozen years later, it’s still available. Buy your uncool mug today.

Recursion, pre-Droste
Is that recursion?

Still haunted by this lo-fi image of a fence partly obscuring a jungle gym in front of a building, I immediately modded it again. This iteration, while not a true Droste, includes elements of recursion, no doubt planting the seed for future self-similar expression experimentation. What does that mean? When I look at this throwaway sketch, I see the seeds of my journey into Droste effects.

I thought this was a post about Droste?

Droste Jung Gym
Yes, it’s a Droste. (2010)

So, back to the banner on top of every page of DanDreifort.com; it’s a Drosted version of this “Jung Gym” picture wherein we replicate the original introducing near-infinite recursion. It’s not really infinite, silly. That’s impossible. We can only hint at it. Hell, instead of referring to that banner (that might go away someday,) I’ll just post the full version of that and erase the bit where I asked future reader noticing the absence of said banner to tell me to post that image over to the right. See it there? That’s why I make the big bucks.

Fast-forward to September 2009: My Sony Elph digital camera is a little better and there exists a plugin for The GIMP called MathMap. Pair the two with moderate investment in time and elbow grease and voilà! Pixel pushers the world ’round are able to create myriad mergings of art and math. For me, that meant the ability to create Droste effect images. I’ll offer only one more thumbnail image here. Clicking it, just like the following hyper-linked text, will take you to a selection of Dan Dreifort Droste effect efforts, displayed in chronological order. Enjoy!

Do you want a personalized Droste effect image? Tell me. Maybe we can work something out.


Dan Dreifort isn’t great at much art, but he likes to dabble in the mediocrity of a whole bunch of different kinds of art.

One thought on “A Post About Droste

  1. Warning: Boring.
    I made this janky infinite animation loop in 1999 with Fireworks.

    It predates the Jung Gym recursion thingy by a couple of years and might be my first foray into Droste-ish endeavors.

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