Alrighty. For the first time ever on the blog, I’m going to get into what I “really” do. Not that I don’t do any of the other things that I’ve rambled on about here for a few months now, just that in some ways, this is my baby.
Photograms. Abstraction. History. Sheer, blessed nerd-fest. Kinda the essence of how I think photographically.
Ok, let’s do this proper-like. My ongoing body of work is titled Concealed at first at last I appear, which is a total geek reference, first to “Burning with Desire” written by Geoffrey Batchen (page 144 in my edition, for those of you who have already embraced their own inner photo-geek) but more importantly, it’s a reference to William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the great-grand-daddies of photography. He had these words appear/disappear as a photogram in one of his early experiments using text on paper. Friggin’ amazing. The ability for something to be permanent and transient simultaneously. Concrete and abstract. Talbot was a genius and recognizing and accepting the duality that was present in photography from the get-go. As Batchen says on page 91, “Photography was, for Talbot, the desire for an impossible conjunction of transience and fixity.” First off, I just think that sentiment is beautiful – to desire the impossible, to accept that you will never be satisfied, that a fixed resolution will never happen. And this is really where I realized where my own work was going.
I think that I am a bit of a twisted soul – I want to deliberately frustrate the viewer to a certain degree. Not completely, just a little. “You mean I’m making photograms, images that are a direct trace of light onto paper, no camera, no negative? And yet you can’t tell what the blasted thing is of?! What is going on here!?”
I love the idea that light itself can create a visual image via a chemical process. That with a photogram, you have a direct one-to-one relationship with the “thing” that existed in reality.
And I love the fact that I can make an image today, without Photoshop, without using pixels, that is so abstract that many folks have asked me what these images are of (one of my favorite questions!)….
So, to sum up so far – large-scale photograms made with black and white fiber paper that are abstractions of space and time. That’s one of my few one-liners that I can throw out when people ask me what I do…..
And I keep going…I started these last year, and in the past few weeks I’ve started cranking them out again, and I’ve gotten crazy excited about the results. New space, new light, new patterns and images. Any of you out there in cyber-world have any thoughts, criticisms, feedback or the like, feel free to drop me a message below, otherwise, thanks for reading this far 🙂