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Who is Fred Rowley? by G. Sumner Ache
A Brief Bio of Fred Rowley the Photo-digital Artist
by G. Sumner Ache

Who is Fred Rowley?

Fred is a filmmaker and web developer turned photo-digital artist. After fifty years in New York City, he now lives retired away in Central New York State where he contrives his graphic contrivances, many based on his large collection of photographs from yesterday and way before.

He likes Jazz and Classical; also Sci-Fi, Internet Radio, Cats, Dogs, Birds and Fast Cars. His film experience taught him that motion is a key element in life and he tries to make his creations move, even though they are really only still pictures.

Fred learned computer programming in the 1960s when he worked at Bell Labs in NYC. He later owned and borrowed some really neat and early microcomputers with which he attempted to publish books and software. He eventually wound up after http was invented, making websites for a big diversity of class-A clients.

In fear of losing touch with art, Fred took to doing digital-based art as a hobby which has continued into retirement. Bored with the quiet artistic life, he has now entered the hustle-bustle competitive world of declared artistry and has on occasion won national competitions and received national mentions.

This website contains a large assortment of Fred's work from the 1990s through to the present. You may notice some antique images here and there. Contrary to what some believe, Fred is up in age, but he was not a functioning photographer much before the late nineteen-forties.

For his old-stuff images, he has stooped to borrow several seasoned photographs from his collection, some going back 100+ years. Fred has manipulated these under new light even though they were taken by his dad and grand daddy. Since both gentlemen have passed-on, it has been impossible as yet, to obtain their explicit permission.

You might wonder what artistic influences Fred succumbs to and whatever they have to do with his pieces. You may also wonder about his artistic philosophy. Here is the logic:

Fred modestly dubs many of his pieces as being "advantageous art", even "exploitive masterworks" and some, possibly merely "guilded gems of creativity". Why is this so?

1. Fred's results may be considered as art made from art - after all, with few exceptions, the originals all began as photographs.

2. Fred's methods of composition are borrowed from photography.. as in the wisdom of the proposition "shoot enough frames to yield a profound result" - which translates in Fred's case to .. "assemble enough image combinations and deviations to yield spectacular, cogent artworks"

This sort of "Trial and Error" from the hip might be considered a method which belongs to Science or to Game Playing more than Art. But professional photographers have embraced "T&E" in Street Photography, in Journalism and in the Jungle as a method to get at least a few good shots of a charging lion.

Even so, the Photographer, Journalist and even the Painter, all must wait for Nature and History to move before the cameras and brushes roll. But the Computer Artist has only to wait upon himself for the action to begin. At that moment, exploitive and advantageous actions can be applied to whatever visual elements prevail, creating results of a true Digital-Art nature. For the computerist then, only after contrivance begins, can "art" emerge from an image.

But wait just a minute! Is it not, that conventional old-fashioned just plain and lovely Art is supposedly pre-determined and composed with painful deliberation and the precious genius of forethought? Does not Composition of Art always result from a Plan and never from Advantageous Happenstance, Shooting from the Hip, nor Gambler's Good Luck?

It worries Fred that some may take Fred's Art to be a product of Coggering and Exploitive Manipulation - i.e. Art that is not Art, or worse, an Art of Convenience.. And everyone knows that Faked Art, regardless how poignant, beautiful and fuzzy, can only be appreciated as something less, but never ever as much as true Art itself.

This issue is certainly not for Fred to judge. We must await the answer from higher authority. Until then, please enjoy Fred's Website and his many nice pictures.

Thank you!

G. Sumner Ache,   10/14

(G. Sumner Ache is a well-known freelance biographer,
last seen living in Corsica under an assummed name)