May 14th, 2013 § § permalink
Now that classes are done, I intend to new focus on some personal work a little more.
I believe a while ago I mentioned I was going to push to write, and well…we see the results of that. It’s been awhile since the last post. Hopefully now that classes have ended I’ll more frequently get a post or two in. This was a quick one from a walk the other day.
Grand Rapids Art Museum
More to come…
April 20th, 2010 § § permalink
So last year at the 46th Annual Society for Photographic Education National Conference in Dallas, Texas – the Texas Woman’s University was putting together a book that called Booth 55. The book tackles the question, “How has your photographic education impacted the way you see the world in relation to the arts?”
It apparently, “…book began with a vision to bring photography students together, each with a unique voice, to capture and express diverse viewpoints from universities throughout the United States…”
Which is a pretty cool idea in itself. The “Published” title of this post originates from the fact that I popped into Booth 55 to jot down my quote and have my head shot taken. Now that same quote (which I can’t remember what I said) appears with the head shot in the Blurb, Booth 55 book website.
And, the book is arranged alphabetically – yours truly has an “Ab” last name so I lead the book with my quote and serious stare. Neat. If you remember stopping by Booth 55 you might want to check out the book on Blurb.
Anyway, more to come.
March 30th, 2010 § § permalink
Another week started and another interview to accompany it. While at SPE Philadelphia I had the wonderful chance to meet Christin Boggs. We talked briefly but I really became interested in her work. I mentioned that I was looking to write about as many people as I could and she said she would be happy to answer some of my questions. But first a little background from her website:
A native of Northern Virginia, and alumna of George Mason University’s Art and Visual Technology program, Christin has been studying photography since her sophomore year of high school and is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Art at Rochester Institute of Technology. Informed by the writing of such authors as Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver and Wendell Berry, Christin’s work is centered on a critique of the processed foods of the American diet, along with the exploration of natural eating habits.
[Me] As a life long vegetarian i have a particular interest in food, where did your inspiration for the project originate?
[Christin] I’ve had a long-time interest in nutrition, which was originally based on the food pyramid, a proper balanced diet, and avoidance of harmful ingredients like MSG, regardless of food origin. It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to eat alternatively to the mass-production grocery store mentality. While studying photography as an undergraduate at George Mason University, I began to experiment with ways in which to address food issues in my art. Currently in my second year of Rochester Institute of Technology’s MFA photo program, I have continued making work centered around food issues, which first led to “Cheap Fix,” a series of five photographs replicating Dutch still life paintings. Rather than creating an exact replication, I replaced each object from the original painting with its contemporary counterpart. For example, artisan cheese and bread were replaced by Wonderbread and Velveeta Cheese and glass tableware was replaced by plastic tableware.
All of my previous food photographs dealt with a critique of the American food industry. During my first year of grad school, I read Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/), which totally changed my way of thinking about food by introducing me to the movements of Slow Food (http://www.slowfood.com/) and local food. I began making small lifestyle changes, like baking my own bread and shopping at the farmers market. So with a background interest in food issues, the inspiration for “Slow & Steady” really grew out of a desire to meet people in the Rochester area with similar food interests and to continue learning how to eat closer to the source.
[Me] I feel there is a substantial amount of research that exists outside the images – if so, do you plan on showcasing that information?
[Christin] Absolutely, there’s a lot of information contained within the project that I want to share with viewers in a few different ways. For my thesis show, in addition to the images on the wall, I am planning to have a reading area within the gallery which will have books and articles pertaining to the local foods movement, in addition to information for Rochester residents who are looking to get connected with local farmers, small-scale food producers and community gardens. I am also considering a website dedicated to the project, which would have links to a lot of my research sources. And ideally a book would be a great way to include some text about the images.
[Me] There is a particular color pallet that accompanies your images, is this something you discovered along the way or selective characteristic chose to emphasize?
[Christin] I did anticipate an overall muted color palette, because the subject matter is so close to nature, in contrast to projects like Susana Raab’s “Consumed”) and Brian Ulrich’s < href="http://notifbutwhen.com/projects/copia/retail/">“Copia”, in which photographs contain bright fast food labels. Also, I’ve been photographing since September, when plants were just beginning to wither and Rochester weather was becoming colder, bringing gray skies and flat lighting.
[Me] Where do you hope to take this work?
[Christin] Short-term, “Slow & Steady” will be shown in October, at the Rochester Regional Community Design Center (http://www.rrcdc.org/), as my MFA thesis show. It’s exciting first to show the project within the Rochester community. But outside Upstate NY, the project acts as one example to the larger slow foods movement. The images are versatile, walking a fine line between documentary and fine art imagery, so the possibilities are wide open. Aside from showing in galleries, I’d love to see the images in print in magazines like Orion or Daylight and exhibited in public spaces such as libraries, city halls, schools, etc. After each shoot, I provide food producers with digital copies of photos and welcome them to use the images for promotional purposes, so the photos have been ending up on blogs, Facebook, newsletters, etc.
So there you have it. What a great chance to look a little closer at fantastic some work being created. I’m honored to include a discussion of this nature on this blog. As it was noted in the beginning, I’m a lifelong vegetarian, so hearing/reading the answers to some of the questions were of particular interest to me. And not to mention photographically wonderful. Make sure you check out Christin’s site more more images. Her blog is first rate as well.
A little more to come this week, however things are shaping up to be on the busy side but the next interview featuring Ryan Ball, just off in the future, probably next Monday.
March 24th, 2010 § § permalink
I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel George at SPE Philadelphia. We talked for a bit and he was kind enough to answer some questions about his work for this blog. His work is quality all around so make sure you stop by his site to see more of it.
His Artist Statement for Introducing Nature:
Introducing Nature is about the quirky ways nature is incorporated into urban environments. Trees grow out of squares cut in the sidewalks, hedges form geometric shapes, and potted plants stand isolated against cold, cement backdrops. There is a strong contrast between the geometric and the organic, the man-made and the natural. But we have grown accustomed to this polarity. We enjoy our parks that fit perfectly within the city grid and the orderly rows of trees that line our streets. These photographs do not delineate a battle between opposing forces – man vs. nature – rather they present amusing examples of how we maintain a close relationship with the environment. There is an apparent visual awkwardness to nature in unnatural places, yet that is how we preserve it in our urbanized surroundings.
Vine Tree, Savannah, GA 2009
[Me] To me I find an interesting conversation between “our responsibility” in terms of preserving nature and reintroducing nature into developed areas, do you feel that contemporary architecture is accommodating a new role in incorporating nature?
[Daniel] These days I do think that contemporary architecture is trying in more ways to incorporate nature in response to conversations on sustainability and green living. It seems that more people are recognizing the need to maintain a balance with nature, and as a result, are designing ways to include it in even the most developed urban areas. A good example of this is the High Line in New York City, where they basically converted an abandoned railway into an elevated, public park. It is amazing.
[Me] In the world of man and nature do you feel your images are confronting “visual awkwardness” or emphasizing it? To what ends to you hope to achieve though your interpretation?
[Daniel] I would say that my images emphasize visual awkwardness. I generally look for scenes where nature appears out of place, and then I try to push that odd relationship even further. I want to create a lighthearted sort of tension within the photographs—between the subject and the environment. I pay a lot of attention to the placement of light poles, power lines, windows, and other supporting elements in order to do this. I am interested in communicating my sense of humor, which I admit can be a bit dry, by emphasizing some silly detail that might normally be overlooked.
Tree and Lamppost, Savannah, GA 2009
[Me] Your choice of using black and white seems at odds with the inherent qualities of “greenery” in our world, can elaborate on your motivation behind using black and white?
[Daniel] My main motivation in using black and white was to maintain a clear, precise emphasis on form. One artist whose work I looked to early on was Charles Sheeler and his photographs of the Ford Motor plant, which are visually all about the shapes of industry. It seemed to me that the best way to show contrast between organic and geometric shapes in my work was to eliminate color and focus on form. I found that color worked in my images sometimes, but that it was too distracting for the majority.
Trees and Light Pole, Savannah, GA 2010
[Me] How are you planning on presenting the work? Large installations? Intimate prints? Or something else entirely?
[Daniel] For presentation, I prefer a more intimate print size—16×20 at maximum. I think my images lend themselves to be examined closer up, that way the sometimes, subtle addition of humor won’t be overlooked. However, my final goal for this project is publication, but that is a bit further off in the future. Right now I am just practicing by creating small, limited edition runs of magazines and selling them through my blog (photogeorged.blogspot.com). I am hoping that I can distribute copies, receive feedback, and save the earnings to help with the costs of book publication. Also, as a fun promotion I added a Golden Ticket to five of the fifty magazines—redeemable for a free, signed print. I wanted to do something fun in appreciation for the people interested in my work. Three tickets remain, just in case anyone was wondering.
So there you go. A little bit more about Daniel George and his work. I hope to continue this series a bit more over the next couple of weeks from people I met at SPE. So if I did meet you and we didn’t exchange info drop me a line and I’ll still get your work in there. Huge thanks to Daniel George and again, make sure you stop by his site.