Brian J. Hettler Finds The Tradition In Digital Art

Constructed Documentation of Altarpiece (Meant to Adorn Sacrificial Altar during Martyrdom of Google Images)

Brian J. Hettler is a digital media artist who attempts to approach his digital works with a fine art mentality. These glitched out images certainly look like digital works, but the similarities lie in the number of layers and how each additional layer affects the previous ones.

Check out his own statement about his works:

Having found myself previously embedded in theories based in traditionalism and the history of painting, I became lost in the idea of the transcendent image. This “goal” is, in my research, a commonality between many painters throughout history, all searching for a moment of aesthetic perfection that transports them beyond the everyday, the mundane, and the human. Whether this venture be to liberate myself spiritually or only to fulfill some internal craving for masturbation through aesthetic execution, it has consumed my practice. The digital world allows so many opportunities for me to go beyond my physical limitations, depicting visual illusions that are otherwise impossible for myself to create physically, creating colors that cannot and will never be depicted organically, and adapting flat space to become layered and spatial. Working in vivid, digitally enhanced colors, I fuse layered and mediated cultural data, creating “new space”, simultaneously decomposing and self-constructing. I constantly accept and question my power in the creation of these images and videos, attempting to maintain some semblance of classical structure, enhancing their mythic and physically nonexistent qualities, while simultaneously pushing to make an entirely new image.


Constructed Documentation of The Martyrdom of Google Image #11

Constructed Documentation of Prolonged Stare #2

Constructed Documentation of the Martyrdom of Google Image #3, #1, and #4

Constructed Documentation of Thoughts on the History of Painting the Metaphysical (The Reversal of the Isciopagus of Lakshmi Tatma aka the Reversal of the Reincarnation of Vishnu)


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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