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a new path

I normally do not reveal a lot of information about the wrapped images I create. This is mostly so that the viewer may use their imagination to give a more personal story line to the images. Therefore I do not talk about what the object is that has been repurposed, or transformed. The important thing for me is the present, what is the object now, and what is it in the audiences perception. I am going to break this rule a little today to mark the beginning of a new path I am taking my work down, one in which I am manipulating the image much more than in the past. The post from February 8, 2013 titled “wrap #3” is the first in what I anticipate to be a long series of these images. This new image not only involves the physical draping of an object in the field but is a composite image made from two seperate digital photographic images. These newer images will have more layers of information.

I have been contemplating these processes for a long time, ever since I saw Joel-Peter Witkins‘ work while attending grad school. I was always fascinated by his manipulation of images. It’s the feel of this manipulation that I am striving towards.

a return to a familiar way of working

Beginning with the post on February 2, 2013, I am returning to work on a portfolio of images  with the same motif as my thesis project from grad school. This work found its genesis in the work of Christo, the Belgian born artist who wrapped buildings, sidewalks, etc. I use the process of wrapping to give resurrection to discarded, forgotten objects, repurposed for the amusement and enlightenment of myself as well as others. The final image produced is to be seen as a work complete, the story is yours to fabricate in your imagination. I hope we all have fun as I explore again this way of working and the images that will come forth.

New post after six months

August 17, 2012 was my last post until yesterday. I went more than six months without picking up my camera. So yesterday was a very inspiring experience, reinforcing the reasons I love photography. There are many reasons I was absent from my artistic life last fall. I am back now with renewed purpose. The shoot yesterday felt as if I’d never stopped working and the photos looked as if no time had passed between last August and now. I am once again enjoying the creative process which brings so much pleasure to my life. I am looking forward to the work I will produce in 2013, I believe it will be my best work ever. Thank you for looking.

Black Water

This is another image from the archives, since I am still without a camera at the moment. I have been working on a series of photographs from Springfield Lake , using the ideas of reductive photography that I have been thinking about lately. I have been reducing elements in my images through choice of camera location, angle of capture, image elements and Photoshop retouching. A collection of the work so far can be found here.

Reductivism

I recently came across a forum discussion here which begins to describe some of the thoughts I have been forming regarding my images and the direction I am taking the work. When I was younger I adored Ansel Adams and the f64 group. Their photographs were so rich and powerful, it was art as I knew it to be at the time. I still regard Adams work highly, but since those days I have seen a lot of different kinds of photography. I have been influenced in a lot of different ways. The work that I am doing that most interests me now are the images that have distilled the essence of the experience into a single note. This is not necessarily just one object or color, although that can be a part of it. It is about a singular harmony within the image that focuses our experience into something powerful.

Painting is said to be an additive medium, you start with a blank canvas and add paint, or whatever, to it. Photography, on the other hand, is a reductive medium, you start with the world and narrow your view from there. Photography has always been about reducing, refining, summarizing. After all isn’t that what the decisive moment is all about? Isolating not only a moment in time but a space in the world. So if I take this thought to it’s logical conclusion I am compelled to make a photograph with a single note.

More Thoughts On The Direction Of My Work

Traditionally photographers have used their skills to create the illusion of three dimensional space in a two dimensional medium. This is an approach that artists have been using for a very long time.
I have been pushing my work in the opposite direction, instead of depth I am striving for flatness, an abstraction that removes all sense of perspective. I am also experimenting with under exposing the images to further reduce reality, to further abstract the form.
I am seeking a paler on which my inner voice can smarts, unrestrained by reality & perspective.

Thoughts On Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky is one of my favorite living artists. I realize that not everyone has the same tastes as I do and that’s what makes America great, every opinion has the potential for validity. A few months ago I happened upon a discussion of Gursky’s work on a photography forum. This was not a forum for discussion of art although that type of discussion can be found there as it pertains to photography specifically. The discussion centered around the fact that “Rhein II” had sold for $4.3 million. It seems that many photographers feel anger or confusion over this sale, more than one comment I have seen since the sale states that the photograph looks like a reject from vacation photos. The kind of photo no one would (or should?) look at twice. This is the same criticism that Jackson Pollock faced when he presented his drip paintings to the world. People said, “I could do that”, without much regard for what they actually meant by making that statement. Undoubtedly this was a reactionary response to the work, a first thought when confronted with something different. What these critics are really arguing is that the work is a scam, the images on the wall require no more work than a casual snap shot taken on a vacation where there are more important things happening (than art).

We value the work that goes into the making of art almost (sometimes more than) the object itself. The process is an integral part of many artists concept. Take, for instance, another of my artistic heroes Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Their art work was as much about the process as the finished piece. Many hours have gone into the planning and execution of this work. The same can be said of much of Gursky’s work. In the case of “Rhein II”  much  of the work was done in post production, where Gursky altered the image to suite his vision. There is a lot of work done to these images even though the final product doesn’t show us this.

Rhein II is a large piece as are most of Gursky’s work. Most of the appeal of his images is the experience one feels standing in front of them. This is a much different experience that seeing the image on a monitor at a size of 11×14 or smaller.

I am not advocating that everyone like Gursky or Pollock or Rothko or Warhol. I would just like to see a better reason for not liking the work than a statement like “I could have done that”.  Maybe we can discuss the unconventional form of the photograph in the context of the history of photographic art, instead of saying we don’t like it…just because.

Today’s Photo Post

I just posted a photo on my other blog, Steven’s blog of photographs. This is another image from my archives. I missed this one the first time through and this was actually the first image I took of this slab of concrete (if you look back into past posts you will see other versions). I will be posting some new images soon (when I get my camera back from the pawn shop). Hope you like this one.

My First Online Gallery Solicitation

I have recently been added to the web site http://www.fine-art-photography-inspirations.com/. This came about through a solicitation by the web sites owner, Brent Washa, who I met through LinkedIn. Please visit his web site, he has some interesting artists featured there. I have 10 images on the site and am very grateful to be a part of it.

I am

Do I change/manipulate my images? YES.

I am no scientist. I am not a recording machine.

I am an expressive individual, so yes, I change my images, I alter reality, I make these images a part of me.