Gary Cody is a former medical illustrator with an MA in Visual Art from the University of Alberta, Edmonton. In 1986, he moved to Vancouver and began work as a free-lance illustrator and computer animator. Since 2000, he has been painting still-life images in an impeccable photorealist style. Brilliant postmodern arrangements of small everyday objects and vintage tin toys produce deep, tight compositions.
Gary Cody, Still Life with Mouse (2005), oil on canvas on board [Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 12-28]
Cody derives the content of his imagery from his own computer-generated image library. Every flower, vase, toy or glass jar in his work is a virtual object conceived by Cody. Using a 3D modeling program, he builds, extrudes and assembles a myriad of shapes then arranges them in a 360° environment. After choosing the lighting and perspective, millions of tiny decisions about saturation, reflection and point of view are generated during rendering.
In the second stage of the work, Cody moves from virtual fabrication to the physicality of paint. While his high-tech presentation techniques are immaculate, his use of colour is playful and passionate. In this series, he begins to break up the traditional still-life space with unexpected planar shifts not possible in real life. His images become almost surreal as they dip and shear through linear perspectives.