Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Some more inspiration

So I find myself time deficient and unable to find the time to keep this blog up to date at the minute. But for now, I am going to list a few photographers that have specifically informed my work or inspired me of will see there is a thread developing. And when I finally write up my posts on recent work it'll become clear how it fits in.

Letha Wilson
This is not a site I found easy to navigate, but I have found little else on line to direct you to (try the visionfield blog here to see her work). It is her photographic sculptures of the 'idealised' American landscapes that interests me. She has effectively 'butchered' the images by physically altering the print. She folds, crumples, covers in concrete, scribbles the photographs to create sculptures. It is taking the tactility and physical aspect of the photograph and transforming it in to something else. As has been documented about her work, it is pushing the conventions of landscape photography in a new direction. Her work interests me because it is altering the aesthetics of the ideal/picturesque American landscape to create something entirely different.  She is an artist who has used photography as an integral part of her artistic longer isolated from art.

Chris Engman
There is an excellent interview on the eyecurious blog about his work here. Similarly to Letha Wilson's work he creates sculptures but rather than of the photograph, it is within the photographs themselves...he intervenes in the landscape to question the objectivity of photography and the meaning of truth...and how manipulated images maybe more 'truthful' and authentic than one that is not.  He considers himself an installation artist who puts great labours in to his images, choosing not to take digital shortcuts. He himself compares his approach to be more akin to a land artist such as Robert Smithson than a landscape photographer. He makes use of the language associated with the landscape genre but his intervention challenges this. There is something playful and laborious about his installations that are engaging on many levels.  My interest in this work is his intervention in the landscape and his acceptance that objectivity is indeed futile.  His workmanship and play on the restrictions of a two dimensional medium work very well.

David Smith
His first concept 'anthropocene' (which I had to look up and according to wiki, means 'an informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global ecological impact'). Not unlike Mishka Henner, Smith appropriates internet photography such as google street-view and maps...which it seems have so many others. His prints are created from thousands of digital files composited of aerial views and then making use of formal patterns and motifs to create beautiful abstract yet orderly chaos within the pictures. This project aesthetically highlights how different perspectives can alter understanding and meaning of the landscape.

His other project called 'arecibo' (I had to look this up too and wiki tells me it is a radio telescope and is the world's largest single-aperture telescope). This project again makes use of internet imagery and whilst I am less sure about his motivations behind the project, the abstract aesthetic appeals to me. Again, not exactly the same, but food for thought for me on composites and making new images out of existing images.

Thomas Devaux
This website I find annoying, however, it is his collage work in gallery 6 that is particularly relevant to my work. And whilst I find the work a little eerie and a little sinister in places, some is exquisitely and weirdly beautiful.  His process and how he arrrived at the montages and indeed re-works of paintings one can learn from. This video elaborates on the process of getting there. The idea of deconstructing and rebuilding to create something new is fascinating and troubling but does again suggest greater freedom in the field of photography...another reminder to break those shackles.

Tom Hunter
He has some amazing work on his website, although it seems strange to me that he states 'internationally renowned artist' on the entry page. If you're internationally renowned, then why do you have the need to say it...anyway, Tom Hunter's work will be shown in the up and coming Seduced By Art exhibition. The work that particularly interests me is highlighted here where he utilises the form and reinvents classic gestures and symbols prevalent of famous masterpieces in a contemporary environment. There is something quite compelling...firstly the recognition that the compositions, postures and content of classic artwork that can be applied to contemporary photography and that it is still so relevant, reminding us that universal truths are not time limited either. His work will give me another nudge to explore the classic paintings of the past. I have just received the Seduced by Art Catalogue which is a good start.

Vernacular Photography
A new term to me meaning photography by amateurs or unknown photographers who take everyday life and common things as subjects.

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