The waxed photographs started as a way to join or introduce a secondary photograph under a primary photograph. Additionally it’s a way to work with the “ground” or the “base” of a photograph and how that informs the primary photograph.
The primary print is done on Japanese tissue. I then wax the tissue print which makes it translucent. That translucent print is put over other imagery thereby transforming the base of the original print. The underlying base surface can be a photograph, paint, or a combination of the two.
This work is a continuation of the composites as it also joins imagery. The images are joined in layers instead of on a plane and, once again, the lines of trees work well in layers as they did with the composites. In some cases I have gone back and revisited imagery from the individual photographs used in the composites.
This work is about organic and inorganic, structured decay. The work started out as a consideration of line drawing and has become work that uses line drawing as one element among oxidation, form, surface, color, focus (both in focus and out of focus) and time. Each piece is on copper which slowly but actively changes over the life of the painting. The paint and then the beeswax seal parts of the painting while other parts are open to the atmosphere allowing the oxidation. The paint and line drawing create a structure and a surface for the decay.
These photographs are printed on old/used art book pages. The image and the text are initially unrelated but their combination creates a relationship. The translucence and transparency of the lighter areas of the photograph allow the type to come forward and become an element in the print. While the text is partially readable, it is also obscured by the denser areas of the photograph. Between the desire to read, the inability to read, the unrelated text and the implied relationship of the photograph, there are questions and a tension that pulls the viewer in rather than pushing them away.
Each print is a unique combination of image and text.
They are all 14.5” high and 10.5” wide.
The glass pieces started as a way to draw on a transparent ground. This idea came out of using acetate and ink to create forms and layers for the photograms. The acetate layers acted as photographic negatives (or positives) within the photograms. I realized that the drawings had potential and merit to live on their own but I needed to use a more archival and rigid ground, hence glass.
The beauty of drawing on glass is that it allows the drawing to be present while it also allows the shadow of the drawing to enter into the composition. The application of clear polymor on the glass also creates shadows that become part of the drawing. In some cases I embedded other materials such as leaves, flowers, string and pepper into the polymor for their surface presence and the shadows they create. When viewed with direct light the drawing, drawing shadow, polymor embedded material and the polymor shadows create the whole piece.
The photogram allows me to join and juxtapose elements of drawing, sculpture, painting and photography with the physical properties of film. There is a verity and reality inherent in film because of its properties of continuous tone, focus, color and the implied trust of photography’s literal translation to the physical world. Using the perceived truthfulness and reality of film with the expressiveness of the invented, I create work that happens at the meeting point of the recognized and the new.
Photograms are created on light sensitive film or paper without the use of a camera. 2-D or 3-D objects are placed directly on the surface and then exposed to light. These objects create shadows and colors or gradations of grey.
In these photograms, layers comprised of cut paper, plastic, glass, lighting gels and original drawings on acetate are overlapped and “exposed” on film. The exposure for one chrome can consist of 6 or more layers, individually placed and timed.
After each sheet is exposed I use conventional film processing (E-6) and then make a custom cibachrome print, either 20×24” or 40”x50” in size.
I have photographed nature for years, serving a series of projects. Through this immersion I have learned to see the architecture, line, form and potential for abstraction of trees.
In this project, the idea and effort to express the expansiveness of nature led to creating grids composed of photographs of trees.
Once created the grid is flopped, repeated, turned upside down and then back again- and the whole starts to take on some of the scope and “discovery of form” found in nature itself. The results include a myriad of patterns, density, space, kaleidoscopic convergences, line drawings and intricacies.
The finished print is 60”x40” to take advantage of scale which then creates a somewhat orchestrated environment and experience. At a distance the viewer first encounters pattern, color and density. Physically approaching each piece draws attention to the smaller forms, lines and relationships right down to the original, individual photographs- the “seeds” of the entire image.