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American Product Series : Bernard Solco’s groundbreaking series of oversized canvases depicting actual product UPC bar codes.
Gallery Installation: Soho NYC circa 1996

 

In the current age of accelerated technological advancement, one seldom has the opportunity to reflect upon the nature of the changes this advancement brings until well after they have been effected. The impact that this condition has had in the last fifty years on the fine arts, which are historically resistant to interface, has yet to be calculated. One artist’s focus on this issue, and more specifically the technology of the bar code, has drawn the attention of both the art community and the bar code industry.

New York artist Bernard Solco’s depictions of popular American product bar codes illustrates the extent to which art and technology have become intertwined. These impressive oversize paintings have been precisely scaled and rendered so that each painting is capable of being scanned. Yet, Solco’s works are not simple depictions of bar codes; in their altered format and context, they manifest new meaning. His “American Product Series” recently exhibited in Soho NYC, explores the ramifications of the influence which technology exerts over American society.

Bernard Solco has united the two distinct roles of consumer and artist. Representing a range of popular products from Welch’s Grape Jelly and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes to Elmer’s Glue and Kodak Film. Solco’s series delineates the buying habits of a specific sector of the American public.

The works comment on the power of marketing to transform products into entrenched institutions, to ingrain them into the very fabric of a culture. The paintings would seem to suggest that the consumer is as much shaped by the innumerable products and marketing strategies offered to it, as it is a player in shaping them. The bar code is the symbol of this socioeconomic union. It is the ubiquitous postscript to every human transaction.

The images allow for a new awareness of the bar code, compelling one to consider the origins and ramifications of a technology which is so widespread that it has almost come to be taken for granted. Solco’s work is able to exist due to the advent of digital technology. This highlights the manner in which art and technology evolve in conjunction.

Symbology: History of the Bar Code Bernard Solco's cutting edge series of oversized canvases depicting actual bar code technologies. Gallery Installation: Soho NYC 2000

Symbology: History of the Bar Code
Bernard Solco’s cutting edge series of oversized canvases depicting actual bar code technologies.
Gallery Installation: Soho NYC circa 2000

 

Bernard Solco’s “Symbology” series are the next level of bar code technology and the next level of art as the world’s first talking paintings. What appears to be a series of abstract geometric images are actually real 2D symbols capable of being encrypted with an impressive amount of data. These incredible works of art are encrypted with messages such as Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, prophecies and spiritual texts. The paintings can then be decoded with a bar code scanner and now on smart phones that download a matrix bar code app. Each of the paintings represent a different 2D symbol code that is utilized by companies such as UPS, Audi Automotive, Sony and many other. The technology was first developed for the Department Of Defense and later introduced into the public domain as new technology advances. Solco’s newest series is called “Decalogue”, featuring ten oversized paintings depicting each one of the Ten Commandments.

Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014 From The Ten Commandments Series acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches

Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014
From The Ten Commandments Series
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

You can actually scan the above painting to reveal the encrypted message right on your computer screen with a QR Code scanner on your smartphone. Don’t have one? Go the App Store (Apple) or Play Store (Android) and download a QR Code Scanner. Once the app is downloaded to your phone you can then scan the above painting or any other bar code.

 

Sixpoint Beer 2015 acrylic on canvas 38 x 42 inches Sixpoint Beer 2015
acrylic on canvas
38 x 42 inches

 

Sixpoint Beer 2015 acrylic on canvas 38 x 42 inches Sixpoint Beer 2015
acrylic on canvas
38 x 42 inches

 

Sixpoint Beer 2015 acrylic on canvas 38 x 42 inches Sixpoint Beer 2015
acrylic on canvas
38 x 42 inches

 

Marlboro Regular 1996 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Regular 1996
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

 

Marlboro Regular 1996 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Regular 1996
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

 

Marlboro Regular 1996 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Regular 1996
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

 

Marlboro Menthol 1997 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Menthol 1997
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

 

Marlboro Menthol 1997 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Menthol 1997
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

 

Marlboro Menthol 1997 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Menthol 1997
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

 

Marlboro Menthol 1997 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Menthol 1997
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

Marlboro Series: Marboro Menthol, Marboro Regular, Marlboro Light 1996-1997 acrylic on canvas 45 x 62 inches Marlboro Series: Marboro Menthol, Marboro Regular, Marlboro Light 1996-1997
acrylic on canvas
45 x 62 inches

 

Kellogg's Corn Flakes 1996 acrylic on canvas 52 x 70 inches Kellogg’s Corn Flakes 1996
acrylic on canvas
52 x 70 inches

 

Kellogg's Corn Flakes 1996 acrylic on canvas 52 x 70 inches Kellogg’s Corn Flakes 1996
acrylic on canvas
52 x 70 inches

 

Elmers Glue 1996 acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 inches Elmers Glue 1996
acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches

 

 

Elmers Glue 1996 acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 inches Elmers Glue 1996
acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 inches

 

 

Kodachrome Kodak Film 1996 acrylic on canvas 48 x 70 inches Kodachrome Kodak Film 1996
acrylic on canvas
48 x 70 inches

Oreo Cookies 1996 acrylic on canvas 40 x 54 inches Oreo Cookies 1996
acrylic on canvas
40 x 54 inches

 

Oreo Cookies 1996 acrylic on canvas 40 x 54 inches Oreo Cookies 1996
acrylic on canvas
40 x 54 inches

 

Oreo Cookies 1996 acrylic on canvas 40 x 54 inches Oreo Cookies 1996
acrylic on canvas
40 x 54 inches

 

Certs Breath Mints: Spearmint, Peppermint, Wintergreen 1996 acrylic on canvas 28 x 64 inches Certs Breath Mints: Spearmint, Peppermint, Wintergreen 1996
acrylic on canvas
28 x 64 inches

Bernard Solco & UPS Maxi CodeFor The Cover Of ID Systems Magazine acrylic on canvas 72 x 72 inches Bernard Solco & UPS Maxi CodeFor The Cover Of ID Systems Magazine
acrylic on canvas
72 x 72 inches

 

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address1998 PDF 417 Code acrylic on canvas 42 x 60 inches This painting is encrypted with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in a PDF 417 Code. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address1998
PDF 417 Code
acrylic on canvas
42 x 60 inches
This painting is encrypted with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in a PDF 417 Code.

 

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address1998 PDF 417 Code acrylic on canvas 42 x 60 inches This painting is encrypted with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in a PDF 417 Code. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address1998
PDF 417 Code
acrylic on canvas
42 x 60 inches
This painting is encrypted with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in a PDF 417 Code.

 

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address1998 PDF 417 Code acrylic on canvas 42 x 60 inches This painting is encrypted with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in a PDF 417 Code. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address1998
PDF 417 Code
acrylic on canvas
42 x 60 inches
This painting is encrypted with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in a PDF 417 Code.

 

 

Vanguard ID Systems Keytag 2005 acrylic on sculptured wood 30 x 48 inches Vanguard ID Systems Keytag 2005
acrylic on sculptured wood
30 x 48 inches

 

Vanguard ID Systems Keytag 2005 acrylic on sculptured wood 30 x 48 inches Vanguard ID Systems Keytag 2005
acrylic on sculptured wood
30 x 48 inches

 

Bulls Eye Code From The First Bar Code Patent 1949 Dr. Norman Joe Woodland link 1999 acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches Bulls Eye Code From The First Bar Code Patent 1949 Dr. Norman Joe Woodland link 1999
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

 

Bulls Eye Code From The First Bar Code Patent 1949 Dr. Norman Joe Woodland link 1999 acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches Bulls Eye Code From The First Bar Code Patent 1949 Dr. Norman Joe Woodland link 1999
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

 

Bulls Eye Code 1998 acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971. Bulls Eye Code 1998
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches
The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971.

 

Bulls Eye Code 1998 acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971. Bulls Eye Code 1998
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches
The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971.

 

Bulls Eye Code 1998 acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971. Bulls Eye Code 1998
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches
The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971.

 

Bulls Eye Code 1998 acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971. Bulls Eye Code 1998
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches
The very first barcodes were bullseyes and were initially utilized by RCA to keep inventory on their television distribution in 1971.

 

Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014 From The Ten Commandments Series acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014
From The Ten Commandments Series
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

 

Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014 From The Ten Commandments Series acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014
From The Ten Commandments Series
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

 

Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014 From The Ten Commandments Series acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches Thou Shalt Not Lie 2014
From The Ten Commandments Series
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

 

Multi Color UPS Maxi Code 2013 acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 inches Multi Color UPS Maxi Code 2013
acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

 

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Bernard Solco’s art work has been acquired by private collectors and prominent corporations worldwide. His bar code art is currently on display in the executive boardroom of America Online on Madison Avenue in NYC, Eastman Kodak Company, and throughout the halls and offices of GS1 US in Lawrenceville, NJ, to name a few.

All bar code paintings are precise replicas of actual bar codes and will read with a bar code scanner or bar code app on iPhone & Android smart phones.

Please contact the studio for pricing on original paintings.