Traditional photography is printed on ordinary photographic paper, either black & white or color. This exhibition displays many fine artists who work in alternative photographic processes. They sometimes use handmade paper, wood, metal, plastic & even concrete as a substratum for their work instead of ordinary photographic paper; and instead of ordinary processing chemicals, they use alternative mixed chemistry in preparation for printing images. Here then is a quick description of their various unique alternative photographic techniques as applied to their art :
Derek Cote (USA) Image transfer on galvanized
metal, wood, graphite, sheet metal screws
Angelo Filomena (Italy) Work is based on a Southern Italian cooking recipe used to preserve birds under olive oil for the winter months.
Monica Goetz (Germany) Projects a portrait of a person into a mirror. The portrait is a photograph of a person1s reflection in a mirror. The mirror on which the portrait is projected reflects the portrait to the wall in back of the room. The focus is on the mirror, so the final portrait is ghostly & inconceivable, more like a painting than a photograph.
Pete Kelly (England) Multilayered images, incorporating textures and sometimes multiple images , with a monochromatic color palette, mounted on hardwood panel. Print is painted with an oil medium enhancing the image and revealing texture & tonal qualities.
Diane Kosup (USA) Takes what is traditionally a 2 dimensional media, layers image over image creating a virtual echo chamber of positive and negative. She uses materials such as metal, acrylic & recycled plastic to inspire & infuse her work.
Michael Krondl (Czech Republic) Using numerous images of natural phenomenae, his unique photographs are actually 3 dimensional installation pieces made of photo emulsion on polyester resin or reinforced concrete panels that seem to be tombstones, also works with photo emulsion on 3 dimensional hand made paper screens built with steel & concrete frame.
Chris O'Brien (USA) Work shows his fascination with carnivals & circus sideshows. From his rooftop in Brooklyn Heights he creates visionary images of New York, the mecca for the extraordinary. He uses high contrast litho film because the simplistic fine line graphic qualities of the film are essential to the aesthetic of his rooftop series. The final stages of the work require exhaustive hand work to scrape way litho photo emulsion or to add opaque ink to heighten contrast.
Carol Quint (USA) Constructs a sculpture or a setting for her photos. The work in this exhibit documents heads made of mirrors or clay , and of figures in a quarry. She hand coats BFK Rives or canvas with luminous silver emulsion. She exposes and prints images on these handmade surfaces.
John Rae (USA) The work starts out as a black & white photograph. He blows them up on a copier. When he has a satisfactory image, he makes a silk screen of the image. After screening the image onto the chosen surface (aluminum, in this case) he adds painting, sometimes with a brush, sometimes sprayed, and sometimes stenciled.
Scherer/Ouporov (Russia) New series of work makes visual and metaphorical reference to the Russian "Oklad" tradition (Russian for metal protective coverings for icons or books). Scherer/Ouporov's Oklads both hide & reveal their secrets -- an act, message, dream, poem, personal vision, desire or private conversation. The Oklad series combines the oldest form of painting (egg tempera) with cutting edge technology (digitalized photo etching on brass plates) and advanced medical techniques for cutting metal. Each plate is extensively worked by hand using traditional printmaking methods -- engraving, etching & stippling -- and metalworking techniques to enhance the surface. The final result evokes the beauty of an ancient icon suggesting that old & new can work harmoniously together.
Susanne Wimmer (USA) Like 19th century photographers, she uses an old large format camera. Her technique mimics procedures of the past requiring long exposures to produce soft focus grain. Her photos are portraits, which she calls "soul prints." The long exposures allow the subject to shed their inhibitions. Holding a pose for a few seconds creates a mask. But when one continues to hold longer, the mask is subverted. The resultant images seem in motion, ethereal, of the spirit. She prepares negatives individually. She cuts the film to size & treats it before each exposure. Large format monoprint/rayograph/contact fiber gelatin silver prints.
Her inspiration drawn from the puppets and automata of the 18th and 19th centuries, sculptor Chris Piazza has constructed figures ranging from 3 to 5 feet tall housed in ornate, glass paneled display boxes. With their heads as large as an average adult and their elaborately costumed bodies made disproportionately smaller, these puppets, jointed for potential animation, suggest the grotesque reality/non-reality which has been the essential fascination and vaguely frightening aspect that puppets have always held. Viewed from within their wood and glass cases, also ornamented with found objects, these puppets remind one of church figures on altars, mummies in tombs or precious objects displayed within individually designed museums.
Miss Piazza has chosen as her point of departure the Italian Commedia dell'arte, and moves from the Commedia through the juxtaposition of disparate materials and unexpected contexts to arrive at a place of genuine beauty. Thoughtfully conceived and exceptionally well crafted, this work represents a fascinating intersecting of 19th century artistic discipline married to the innovative explorations of contemporary conceptual art.