The Pixel Painter:
I was shooting the breeze with my friend about the photography yesterday. While chatting, my friend told Photography is a costly hobby. I didn’t agree with that statement, because at present we can take photos with our smart phones itself, no need to buy a camera separately, no need to buy film, no need to pay film developing charges, no need to take prints. If our phone memory card is full, just we have to move the photos to our laptop or external HDD. We can share the photos with our family and friends directly by uploading to cloud storage or social networking sites.
Today morning while I was reading on the net, I read one article about 98-year-old Hal Lasko, “The Pixel Painter”, better known as Grandpa. An absolutely beautiful and inspirational story, involving a Microsoft product. This just proves that it’s not the software or hardware that makes a good artwork. It’s the artist and how he/she uses it. I believe below given sentence is hundred percent apt for him.
A great artist can make beauty out of any medium, no matter how limited.
Hal Lasko, better known as Grandpa, Born before the invention of broadcast radio, Lasko spent his career as a commercial graphic designer, working with his hands to create typography and design. Before retiring, Lasko spent 10 years working at American Greetings, styling the fonts and cards.
A little more than 10 years ago, Hal Lasko began to lose his eyesight. Things appeared blurry, reading on paper was nearly impossible and colours were washed out. A condition called wet macular degeneration was making it nearly impossible for the World War II veteran and retired designer to keep up with his oil painting.
On Lasko’s 85th birthday, his grandchildren gifted him a computer and introduced the artist to Microsoft Paint. The program allows Lasko to magnify the area large enough to draw pixel by pixel.
While most people have long since abandoned MS Paint as an outdated graphics application, Lasko has spent the last 13 years using the program to digitally create works of art, spending up to 10 hours a day on his work. Originally a traditional painter, he switched to MS Paint full-time in 2005 when his vision was impaired by wet macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes blindness in the center of his vision. He has since created more than 150 digital works, though his blindness means he will never be able to view them in their totality.
Those prints are available on his very own website http://hallasko.com/collections/prints and sold for $98 each in honour of his 98th birthday. Because he is a veteran of World War II, 10% of all sales goes to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
A short documentary showcases the art of Hal Lasko. In this short documentary, the artist’s grandson Ryan Lasko and co-director Josh Bogdan trace the story of Hal Lasko, from his beginnings as a “lettering man” up through his current projects on the computer. The film showcases his computer creations and includes interviews with Lasko about his family, his process, and his philosophies.
Grandpa makes it into the Super Bowl!
Grandpa’s story was selected by Microsoft to be featured in their Super Bowl Commercial: Empowering Us All
See more work at hallasko.com