Cecil W. Lee

Computer-Evolved Art

Artist Statement


I create high quality limited edition prints on canvas, plexiglass or watercolor paper. My artistic goal is to create images that incorporate the use of brush, pencil, and palette knife with digitally generated art, which I call Computer-Evolved Art. The objective is not to imitate tactile styles, but to create a new look that combines elements of traditional and digital art.


I also utilize photography in much of my work. Examples can be found in my computer-evolved “Lights” series - a two-year study of lights from the perspective of a camera in motion. Another ongoing photographic project is called “Mannequins of Metropolis.” The MofM series began over twelve years ago as a straight-forward photographic project capturing mannequins in positions normally associated with their human equivalents and resembling imagined or real human situations.  


I choose the term Computer-Evolved for my art as a way of paying homage to the artists who use the computer as a tool to create or transform their art. Just as the painter uses a brush and canvas, the sculptor - a chisel, the quilt maker - a needle and a thread, and the photographer - a camera and a darkroom. However, regardless of the tools, the artists always find a way to express their creativity.


Cecil W. Lee is a New York-born self-taught photographer and computer artist. A Harlem native was influenced by his father, an amateur photographer. Lee purchased his first camera at eighteen years of age. He has had short stints in publishing and print production before becoming a television studio camera operator and acquiring his first computer in the late 1980s. Lee’s first digital approach to art was the “BASIC” programming language, which he used to create what would now seems to be rudimentary art. By the late 1990’s the artist was utilizing drawing software to alter scanned images of his paintings and photographs. As his skills improved Lee began taking freelance jobs as a photo restorer and eventually worked as a computer instructor for the NYC Board of Education. Over time, the artist has developed a unique perspective he calls a “Computer-Evolved Art.” CEA is best described as the process of combining photography, scanned images, and digital paintings/drawings with image manipulation software to create original works of art.

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