Saying Kaddish for my Father

My last name, Schmideg, is most uncommon. When Internet search engines first came into being, I did a search for "Schmideg" and discovered fellow Schmidegs in Hungary, where I was born, as well as in Australia and Canada. My parents fled Hungary as refugees in 1956. Originally, we lived in Belgium, then settled in America. My father, who died in 1996, was a concentration camp survivor. The root image for the animation running below is a scan of his Mauthausen concentration camp identification card.

I had some hesitation about processing/animating this scan. And here I must confess that I never have full command over my animations. I am not saying I lack any control. It is just that to an extent I allow the processing to simply go where it will. I was disturbed when the core image herein suddenly appeared to resemble a Christian cross. Then I realized that another type of cross did have an impact on my father's life: the iron cross. So I created this animation:

The root image for the animation running below is a photograph of young Ben Schmideg I lifted from Facebook.

Ben Schmideg is one of the Australian Schmidegs. Judging from his Facebook profile he appears to be interested in the arts. This young man posing before one of Vincent van Gogh's self-portraits gave me a sense of hope. Again, the animation took on a life of its own and went in a direction that initially disturbed me, as it possessed a vaguely comical quality. But then I realized that van Gogh was an artistic visionary precisely because he understood that perspective had everything to do with texture. Herein texture digitally infuses itself, defining the flow, striking the necessary balance between darkness and light.

© 2009 Peter Schmideg

Illuminated Sketchpad Index