It is unlikely that when Microsoft created Excel thirty years ago I was thinking of imaginative pictorial artists. The tool was born as an accounting formula superior to all existing at that time, and was standardized in the offices of half the world. It became a symbol of gray, boring, unimaginative administrative work.
However, at a time when technological tools were still precarious, Excel was also presented as a way to unleash particular creativities. This is the case of Tatsuo Horiuchi , a Japanese artist who today totals 77 years and whose production has focused on the drawing of very detailed and colorful tables with Excel. As it sounds: Horiuchi imagines landscapes and does not take them to a canvas, does not take them to Illustrator. The plasma in Excel.
How? His technique is his secret, of course, but there are some tricks that have come to light thanks to his special talent. The main one is the use of figures, vectors and gradients (an option that all children of the nineties will remember with pleasure), a tool that allows you to draw leaves of autumnal colors and swans of stately appearance. The simple fill-in function and the stable character of the Excel boxes, modifiable and virtually infinite, did the rest.
Horiuchi began his career as an Excel painter thirteen years ago, when he retired and found few challenges in his near future. At that time there were not so many open programs for drawing and illustration, so Horiuchi opted for those who came by default in his computer. Those of Office. He tried Paint, he says, but it was too complex (we do not blame him, but there are others who did authentic works of art with the mythical program). He tried it with Word but it was too chaotic.
So he stayed with Excel. Since then he has painted hundreds of paintings, most of them focusing on the landscapes of Japan and their customs and traditions. The extraordinaryness of his case has elevated him to a small altar of the digital freak culture , and has earned him several reports, compilations and videos in which his personality is explored, the oddity of his company and the uniqueness of his work. Works that, as is logical, have improved a lot over time.
Today, Horiuchi paintings are authentic exercises of pictorial virtuosity (if we think they have been done in Excel): the degree of detail, the layers of colors, the vividness of the images portrayed and the tranquility and tranquility they convey are some of the its main virtues. Of course, many of these canvases have been printed and exposed , and he himself keeps them in his house. We would like Horiuchi to continue drawing such beautiful paintings in such an unexpected place for many years.
Here are some of his most outstanding works.