This page is dedicated to my adventure at Lesley Art + Design to obtain an MFA in Visual Arts. If you are reading this, you are a part of the journey; I am looking forward to seeing where we end up.
Group 3 January 2023 Portfolio
Artist Statement: Journey from Still Life to Abstraction
As a technically trained commercial photographer, much of my work has illustrated a message or brand, one that needed to be easily understood, a "quick read" so to speak. But I always wanted to move past the technical and create imagery with more depth. Initially, I thought the genre of still life would provide the foundation for a more meaningful approach to my photography. Historically, still lifes consisted of multiple layers of meaning, yet there was usually a superficial layer, one that was easy to understand and often easy to discard. This genre became the focus of my research and studio work. And while I've enjoyed creating images that often-paid homage to the 17th-century Dutch Still Life painters, I felt something was missing.
The Journey from Still Life to Abstraction began with a challenge from my mentor to move past the technically correct, overly stylized, and controlled world of still life; to create my own world. One whose terrain was defined by highlighting shape, texture, and creative depth-of-field; rather than focusing on meaning. Above, one studio set up, two totally different approaches, two totally different images. What emerged from this challenge, are collections of shape and movement that bestows the viewer with the freedom to interpret them and create their own narrative, rather than being fed a predigested scene that requires little effort to be understood.
Architectural photography is in my DNA. When left to my own devices, I will always explore the geometry and shapes of manmade structures. But I've always regretted not pursuing creative studio work more. So rather than only traveling the path of least resistance, I have also been exploring light painting in the studio; creating a variety of still lifes. Many of these images pay homage to 17th-century Dutch still-life paintings. Objects were arranged, painted with light, and captured in a manner to mimic reality, when in fact they were fakes, mere facsimiles of the subjects depicted. In my images, I invite the viewer to ponder what is real. And perhaps ask, can something be real and unreal at the same time?
The subjects of my photographs are often made of brick and mortar; or steel and glass. I am especially drawn to the geometry, patterns, and unusual shapes found in architecture.
Angles and points of view are chosen to bring the viewer into the moment; as if they could walk into the scene or touch the subject. Post-production tools, such as Photoshop and Lightroom, are utilized to enhance a subject to bring out an emotion or to uncover a concept not readily seen.