The Eye Painter

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Many painters treasure their hands as the keys to their creative efforts. But artist Graham Fink has left his hands behind to create artwork with his eyes. Using brainpower and computer software developed with a software developer utilizing an eye-tracker, Fink has created a series of portraits which are drawn as his eyes trace patterns on screen.

According to a Wired story by Liz Stinson:

“Much like the EyeWriter, a piece of open-source software that lets disabled graffiti artists draw with their eyes, Fink’s setup is based on two infrared lights that shine into each eye. The reflection of this movement is recorded with a camera and passed through algorithms that slow the natural oscillation of Fink’s eye, turning what otherwise would be a shaky line into something much smoother.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.11.56 PM The portraits can take a few minutes or an hour to complete, Fink notes. The artist—a multimedia practitioner who works in photography, film, and painting, is also a BAFTA and Cannes Grand Prix-winning creative director—linked current innovation in thinking and creating images at a show held at Riflemaker London.

The event blended technology and artistry in live drawings, noted at his website,

“As he directs his own eye movement, lines appear on the page. He will achieve this with the help of software he developed in conjunction with Tobii Technology in China, specifically a Tobii ‘eye-tracker’. The technology works by shining infra-red light straight into the eyes. The reflections are recorded using multi-algorithms and filters which allow eye movement to immediately be translated onto a screen.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.12.18 PMIn an interview with The Creators Project, Fink notes that the experience was an entirely new way of approaching art.

“What’s interesting is that, obviously you look at many faces throughout the day, and I noticed that the images I create change according to what I’ve seen. They come directly from the subconscious. Normally art is made with your hands, using a pencil or a paintbrush, which can be something that gets in the way of the creating the image you have in your mind. I wanted it to be purer: to go directly from the subconscious, straight from the eyes and onto the canvas…The fact that you can make something without ever touching it is really interesting. When the drawings are finished I ask my assistant to print them out and I made a stamp with my signature on it and my assistant stamps the work, so that’s my signing. I like the idea of having made these things without ever actually touching them.”


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