“And so, I found myself contemplating the abandoned slab of a razed industrial building like a wandering vessel in a sea of concrete. The surface bore signs of a once-mighty skeleton, sun-bleached stains and cutoff steel in a rusty alphabet soup of jumbled letters I, H, C, L, O and U. Faint visions emerged from the shadows of my unconscious like fleeting apparitions, barely visible in the early morning sun. Or, were they memories? Were they mine? . . . Aha! They spilt forth at last, the conjured visual poetry of Moholy-Nagy, Calder, Albers, Rothko, Godwin, Kandinsky, and Braque! What generous inspiration! The shapes and lines and textures and colors danced before me and it was all I could do to keep up, to not trip over the camera, to capture them before they escaped me—”
The artist does hereby submit in validation of the above testimony the following volume of evidence cataloging select abstract arrays as witnessed and recorded by the artist—whereby, the artist proposes the following:
- that beauty may be witnessed in unlikely subjects and locations by one who is present and open
- that artists stand to benefit from exploring subjects and expressions outside of a previously established voice, genre or aesthetic
- that, despite the camera’s capacity for factual recording, there are no rules in art; therefore, any experimentation in craft or process is good for the creative process
- that, despite an artist’s careful intention toward expression, any experience had by the viewer is an equally valid truth, regardless of how it may deviate from the artist’s conceived truth
I am excited to share my latest series, Concrete Evidence. This series features approximately 60 new images that were all captured during an inspired one hour and forty-five minute period. Although the shooting was fast and furious (over 300 images in under 2 hours), I’ve taken my time over the last six months to carefully consider each image, processing them consistently to curate a coherent series.
My main approach to post-processing this series (and indeed much of my other work) is to pull back (desaturate) dominant colors, in this case the warm rust tones, so that other colors and subtleties might come forward.
I appropriated this approach from my experience running a sound board. If you keep turning each instrument channel up to hear it better then you end up with a loud, inarticulate muddled sound. Sometimes the best way to hear the guitar better is not to turn the guitar up, but to bring everything else down a bit.
Similarly, in photo post-processing, this subtraction process results in a far more subtle, articulated, and natural image than simply boosting vibrancy or saturation. Previously neutral greys take on a subtle blue or rosy hue and a myriad of other complexities come forth. I much prefer this subtle shift of perception to heavy-handed global adjustments that often result in gaudy, overstated images.