Cris Paltenghe is an Information Systems Architect for Citibank Horizon Planning, currently working on electronic commerce. He lives in Northridge, California with his family and pursues computer art as one of his hobbies.
The following are excerpts from an e-mail interview with Cris:
What kind of work/accomplishments have you done in the art world?
I have dabbled in a number of things, like jewelry making, sculpture, etc. I think it was more therapeutic to me than it was aesthetic to others.
Have you won any awards for your artwork?
No, actually this is the first time I have been recognized for anything. Its also the first time I ever entered anything.
Why the interest in the nature scapes?
Well, living in Los Angeles you don't get to see much of it. I have always loved nature and wanted my own little get away. Creating my own fantasy world is like a passport for that get away.
How many years have you been pursuing art?
All of my life, really. Ever since I was a kid I loved to draw, paint, squish clay - you name it.
Has anyone been a particular inspiration to you in pursuing art?
There have been so many it would be hard to list them all. More recently I would say it would be my uncle Howie and my friend Michael. Uncle Howie is a physicist and very left brain at work. Its amazing how passionate and feeling he is the other 16 hours. He does several types of art and writes for local newspapers. Quite a guy. Michael works with me and is by nature very artistic. When he started showing me the stuff he did with the computer, I just got hooked.
Do you do this full time, and if not, what else do you do?
Oh, No! I would starve to death. I am an information systems architect for Citibank Horizon planning at the Citibank Development Center. We are working on electronic commerce and that sort of thing. It's one of the most interesting jobs I have ever had. Because of the technology orientation, we get exposed to many of the latest tools. I had to do a presentation recently and needed something that gave the flavor of a horizon for an opening slide. I started working with Bryce II and before I knew it had created art in a very short period of time. Its the sophistication of the tools - not me.
What is your goal with your artwork - to make money, or are there some other personal goals?
There is always the fantasy of making money on my art, like doing greeting cards or something. I'm probably more likely to win the Lotto. I do it either for work, to use imagery to convey ideas, or just to shift to the right hemisphere for a while and recharge. Its a great boost when someone else is touched by it, however.
Did you ever have any formal training in art?
No, not really. I had a few art classes in high school and college. My teachers were always encouraging - always encouraging me to keep my day job.
What are the two most compelling reasons someone would want to go visit your site?
I knew you were eventually going to ask me a hard question. Could it be the art? Perhaps to discuss Celestine type events and Quantum Mechanics? How about home wine making and high voltage experiments inspired by Nikola Tesla? I'm open to suggestions.