In my visual experience Pac-Man came before Donald Judd, Carl Andre or even Mondrian. For me Broadway Boogie Woogie will always be an homage to Pac-Man. My current work explores the visual connection between minimalism and early video games. Video gaming and minimalism arrived at the same visual conclusion through different means and by opposite intentions. Early video gaming, or pixel-based imaging, did not intend to be simple or minimal. It intended to communicate as much visual information as possible. The problem was that the memory available to store that visual information was extremely limited. The images created in early video gaming were so simplified that out of context they are unreadable as representational images. Early video gaming images are, at best, abstractions. They are minimal for lack of technology. Minimalism on the other hand, created objects that were minimal by design and intention Minimalism intend to reduce the art object to its simplest form. Minimalist objects and images are based on formal ideas with no reference to image or outside narrative and have the appearance of a mass produced object. These two separate movements had quite opposite intentions with very similar visual results. My ongoing work explores this connection between early pixel-based video game images. Recent developments include the implementation of dimensional palindromes; sculptural “twins” where the exact same form renders a different relationship to the viewer after surface treatment and flipping the orientation of the second form. These combinations broaden the scope of my post-minimal exploration, seeking to further the aim to create work that finds an area between abstraction and representation. – Mike Whiting, 2019
Michael Whiting creates playful sculptures drawing from the forms and imagery of early video gaming and computer graphics. Whiting attempts to communicate as much visual information as possible with his essential forms that combine the reductive simplicity of the minimalist movement and the sensibility of pop art in re-contextualizing cultural icons. Whiting received his BFA from Brigham University in Utah and his MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. After finishing his degrees he has exhibited at such places as Art in General in NYC, Art on the Streets in Colorado Springs, CO, Republic Plaza in downtown Denver, CO and the Sundance Institute in Utah. His four solo exhibitions with Plus Gallery in Denver, Colorado since 2004 have established a devoted following for his artwork in the region. He has placed sculptures in public collections in Denver, CO, Lynnwood, WA, Albuquerque, NM, Kent, WA , The Central Utah Arts Center in Ephraim, UT, the University of Nebraska and various other locations in the United States. Whiting’s sculptures have been reviewed in the Denver Westword, Rocky Mountain News, NY Arts Magazine, The Colorado Springs Independent and This Artweek LA among others. Whiting’s most significant exhibition to date, PIXELATED, took place at Denver Botanic Gardens from April 28th through September 23rd, 2018, in a key slot previously held by luminary artists such as Alexander Calder, Henry Moore and Dale Chihuly.