"Sometimes he talks about art in his sleep."
July 23, 2013 8:08 PM   Subscribe

The Pixel Painter is a short documentary about Hal Lasko, a 97-year-old artist who paints in Microsoft Paint. posted by oulipian (21 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
His stuff is good. Forget his age and that he's working in MSPaint. His stuff is good...
posted by jim in austin at 8:30 PM on July 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

these paintings are incredible! He puts such skill into the medium, I really do enjoy them.
posted by rebent at 8:32 PM on July 23, 2013

Wow. I love his art.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:33 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

The film is really well done, also.
posted by gt2 at 8:46 PM on July 23, 2013

That was really lovely
posted by cman at 8:50 PM on July 23, 2013

Looking forward to watching this, but...

Anybody else sing in their head : "Pixel painter, pixel painter, lots of fun with pixel painter. Lots of fun with glowing pixels... fill your day with pixel painter... 'til Hal does another pixel paint with you!"
posted by symbioid at 8:54 PM on July 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Wow - I really needed to see this. I've been dealing with a lot of depression lately, and it's hampering a lot of my creativity and to see this is inspiring. Of course, now I'm tearing up at the end with the son... :(
posted by symbioid at 9:06 PM on July 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm talking with him tomorrow morning for a writeup - anyone have any questions they think I should ask him?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:53 PM on July 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

That was wonderful. Thanks oulipian.
In answer to BlackLeotardFront's question - what's next?
posted by islander at 10:20 PM on July 23, 2013

BlackLeotardFront: I am curious if he's tried any other image programs. MS Paint is one of the most basic editors out there, and while I can understand how that can have some appeal, I'm be interested in hearing what his experiences were, if he's tried paint.net or photoshop or whatever.
posted by aubilenon at 10:46 PM on July 23, 2013

a 97-year-old artist who paints in Microsoft Paint.
posted by oulipian

If your handle comes from where I think it does then this is where I say "eponysterical".
posted by egypturnash at 11:16 PM on July 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Something Awful thought me not to scoff at Ms paint. . . If your an artist, you can work the most basic of art programs. I used to see dozens of crudely draw pictures, and one or to flipping amazing ones.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:06 AM on July 24, 2013

Ask him what he thinks about Photoshop and if he has ever used a Wacom pen!
posted by quoquo at 4:15 AM on July 24, 2013

It's not the tools, it's what you do with them.
posted by fungible at 5:06 AM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

fungible: "It's not the tools, it's what you do with them."

That's what my girlfriends have said. It took a 97 year old man to prove them correct!
posted by symbioid at 7:24 AM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is a medium that is just starting to explode. One of the first truly new fine art mediums we've had in a while. And almost everyone working in it is in their 20s.

I think that's the saddest part about this, is that Hal is just blowing the whole possibility of the form wide open. I mean, he's got seven or eight different pieces that could each function as the exemplar of a totally unique style. It's such a shame he doesn't have another 50 years ahead of him to keep exploring.

I hope that future art historians recognize him for his importance.
posted by 256 at 8:23 AM on July 24, 2013

Following up... just got off the phone with Hal and his son and grandson.

He's definitely not aware of other pixel artists, though I recommended the grandson share a few with him.

Originally he picked up Paint in 1998 and it took him a few months to get the hang of it, but when he did, he was able to recreate some of his old paintings and start doing new stuff using techniques not possible with actual paint.

He enjoys Paint because it's simple and lets him blow up the pixels to a size where he can see and manipulate them easily. His mindset seems to be more like "this is amazing and better than regular painting for me" than "what else can I do?" He tried Illustrator and some others but in the end "I just decided that this is my way. What I made was beautiful to me." (Would that some of us were able to make the same determination!)
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:17 AM on July 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

I love his work, and I don't think he needs to move to Photoshop at all. I want him to keep producing beautiful work within the limits of his chosen medium.
posted by maudlin at 4:56 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

He is adorable, I hope to grow up to be just like him.
posted by JujuB at 10:20 PM on July 24, 2013

I see I'm too late, but if you ever speak with him again you might want to show him old school palette cycling. I think he'd get a kick out of it.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:55 PM on July 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Like a high-tech Chuck Close.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:49 AM on July 25, 2013

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