From The Journal of Contemporary Photography Volume VI, 2003, “Philip Trager’s Dancers” by John Stauffer

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

“You might think of dance and photography as the arts of metamorphosis. They begin with a piece of life—the human body, a moment in time—and transform physical reality into enchantment. The mundane becomes mysterious, monotony appears magnificent, and the world seems filled with wonder. But in the process of transforming a piece of the world, neither dance nor photography abandon or wholly transcend the world; they never lose touch with their raw materials, and continually refer back to the life from which they originated. Although dance sets a human body in motion, and photography freezes a subject in time, they retain the body and preserve the moment, and thus redirect the viewers’ attention back to the world.”

Philip Trager

From The Journal of Contemporary Photography Volume VI, 2003 “Flor Garduño’s Worlds of Wonder,” by John Wood

March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Flor Garduño is most well-known for her intense, deeply moving images from Latin America and her elegant but erotic nudes. The most distinctive quality of her work is its genuine freshness. It is the mark of a great artist to be able to look at what we all know and have seen yet give us something new, something we have never seen before. To be able to do it with the nude and with native peoples, two of the most overworked and, therefore, most difficult subjects in photography, demonstrates not only genius but an inventiveness seldom encountered. Most photographers do not see through their own eyes but create work that looks like the work of other photographers. They may possess considerable technique and craft, but what is missing is a distinct style, a singular voice, an original vision. Seeing with one’s own eyes is one of the most difficult tasks for any artist but especially the photographic artist because every photographer’s head is filled with tens of thousands of photographs she or he has seen. The question is how one can see afresh in the midst of so much visual clutter—wonderful clutter, of course—Le Gray, Le Secq, Watkins, O’Sullivan, Coburn, Kühn, Weston, Sudek, Hosoe, Witkin, and on and on—but clutter none-the-less. There is, of course, no easy way to discover or shape an original Vision. That is the gift no teacher can give.”

Flor Garduno

March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Art of Platinum Printing

It seems appropriate for the first entry of this new blog to talk about how I became interested in the fine art of platinum printing.

The initial spark for me came some eight years when I viewed a collection of platinum prints in an original print photo-book.  The book entitled Sally Mann (2004) was created and published by 21st Editions, a small publisher and printing press based in Massachusetts, it contained 10 bound platinum prints that were simply breathtaking, both from an aesthetic and technical point of view. They depicted the artist’s graceful figure and drapery studies that were taken in 1978, preceding the Immediate Family (1992) series of images that the artist is perhaps best known for. Paired alongside the images were haiku-like poems printed in beautiful letterpress and written by Mann herself.  It was the first time I had viewed a platinum print, and I was astonished by…

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