Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fallen Petals


I've been walking around taking pictures this spring and summer, basically photographing cliches -- and thinking about them. It's funny how both the typology and the grid are such easy devices for photographers (and yours truly) to fall for. Flowers, too. Flatness, too. Painterliness (or maybe "painterliness," since the term is pretty loaded and almost meaningless and cries out for a little ironizing), too. And colorfulness. So the challenge: succumb to as many cliches as possible, but still do something as original as possible. I'm a huge believer in originality -- to the extent that I approve of any gimmick, novelty, or cheap effect that an artist can devise because work like this has more going for it than the standard dull stuff.  If, as they say (I think "they" was the Bible), nothing is new under the sun, then everything is also equally potentially new. Each attempt at variation is completely original, and really, it's just a question of degree. Boredom and repetition are the enemy and friend, frenemy and enamigo.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

“Painting is dead from this day on!” —French painter Paul Delaroche, 1839, on seeing a daguerreotype for the first time

An article about my work from 1979 that proves some things are perennial, I think.
You go about your days and you think you are doing just what you like. But imagine my alarm (and pleasure) when I reread this article (above) about my work from 1979, which talks about the "constructed image" and beauty, two notions I'm still mulling over in my work. And, while I imagine that I'm thinking up new ideas all the time, some of the time I'm recycling old ones and (not so simply) recalibrating them for the present day. 

In 1979, I was totally unknown and the article (below) was about my first solo show. I wrote a press release that read, "From this day on, photography is dead," inverting Delaroche's famous phrase. It may not have been true, but it got my name in the paper. Delaroche was a conservative painter of large histories, and he was in a panic about how effortlessly--even uncannily--photography renders whatever is in front of the lens.

All of which is simply an introduction to the work I'm experimenting with now. (I'll probably cal it Artist's Statements: Painting, images below.) In the new work, I confound (okay--kill) the photograph by making it look like a painting, but one that is rendered photographically. What appears to be an expressive swoop of paint turns out to be precisely rendered gradients of pixels that somehow look more like paint than paint does. Look at the brown circle of the first image below. It's kind of shifty. First it looks painted, then it looks life a photograph of paint, then it looks like paint on top of a photograph. This kind of layering that has always fascinated me, and it's certainly a metaphor for something or other. I don't know that I was ever interested in beauty, exactly. To my way of thinking, the word is shorthand for "new, fresh, exciting," which is what the 35-year-old Globe article is about. 





Friday, February 7, 2014

Recent Publicity and Writing

A lot of articles and publications about my work over the last six months. I thought I'd compile a list of links here.

Selected People
Wired Interesting article
The Washington Post An interview with yours truly
The Boston Globe A think piece
The Creators Project -- Vice My rules for great trick photography--and a video
Booooooom A nice art publication
The Fence at Photoville An outdoor exhibition in Brooklyn
Imaging Resource An interview with me again
PetaPixel A nice article about my work
SLRLounge Another interview
Daily Mail Some loopy writing in a tabloid!
Feature Shoot An article about my work
Reframing Photography This web site is a resource for an excellent photo textbook
Gizmodo A huge circulation publication
PictureCorrect Some opinions on...me

Strangers
Laughing Squid
Acclaim Magazine
Lenscratch
PetaPixel

My writing about other photographers
Deborah Bay, Martin Klimas, Sarah Pickering, Clay Lipsky in Vice Media's The Creators Project: "Show of Force: Four Photographers Who Turned Explosions into Art"
Roberta Nedigh in Feature Shoot: "Clever photos document property lines in suburban landscape design"
Caleb Cole in Feature Shoot: "Photographer transforms found dolls into strange self-portraits"
Kate Joyce in Feature Shoot: "Photographer captures offbeat moments in everyday wanderings"
Diane Meyer in Feature Shoot: "Photographer uses embroider to "pixelate" family snapshots"
June Yong Lee in Feature Shoot: "Striking photos of the human torso stretched out like canvas"