Artist Looks to Elvis, Warhol for Help to Win World’s Largest Art Prize


– WHO: Barcode artist Scott Blake. His digital art, inspired by the Y2K computer crisis, started with circles, squares and tile patterns that morphed into lines and eventually became barcodes. Blake has created more than 30 large-scale digital portraits of cultural icons using actual UPC numbers connected to some aspect of their lives.

WHAT: Blake is entering his work into the second annual ArtPrize competition, which bestows the world’s largest art prize. He will be looking to edge out 1,712 other artists in competition, which begins September 22 at 6 p.m. at 192 venues throughout Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

At ArtPrize, Blake will be exhibiting four of his barcode portraits at the Stache Gallery http://www.artprize.org/venues/public-profile/235, 120 South Division Ave., Studio 124. His Barcode Elvis http://www.barcodeart.com/Barcode_Elvis.html, Barcode Bruce Lee http://www.barcodeart.com/Bruce_Lee.html, Barcode Andy Warhol http://www.barcodeart.com/Andy_Warhol.html and Barcode Marilyn Monroe http://www.barcodeart.com/Marilyn_Monroe.html All will have barcode scanning interfaces that will allow patrons to interact with the portraits, including hearing music and viewing movies.

The “Barcode Elvis” portrait is made from barcodes from the singer’s music CDs. “Barcode Bruce Lee” and “Barcode Marilyn Monroe” are comprised of barcodes from DVDs of their movies. “Barcode Andy Warhol” features 2,160 barcodes from Campbell’s Soup cans, measures 8′ x 8′ and contains 829.4 megapixels.

In addition to international exhibitions, Blake’s art has been featured on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” Tech TV, Boing Boing TV, WFLA-TV (NBC), WFTS-TV (ABC), msnbc.com, Wired.com, and in Art Papers Magazine. His studio is located in Omaha, Nebraska; his art, a wide range of barcode art products and additional information can be found at

WHEN: Blake will be installing his portraits and will be available for interviews tomorrow, Sept. 21, beginning around noon and also on Sept. 22.

WHERE: Blake’s ArtPrize venue is the Stache Gallery , 120 South Division Ave., Studio 124, in Grand Rapids.

CONTACT: Scott Blake (402) 321-3485;  or Jim Swope, (727) 744-4556;

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