… on “thin ice”…

As many of you know visually, I “see” in abstract.   It’s just the way my mind works.  Some people see gorgeous sweeping mind altering landscapes but I like to get to the “nitty-gritty” of things.   Looking at the common in a way that makes people stop, question, and consider what they are looking at and how they feel about it.

Abstraction is often confused with surrealism but it is not the same thing.  Surrealism, in my opinion has more to do with pictorialism.  Surrealism shows easily recognizable things in fantastical setting[s] setting up uncommon and at times illogical relationships.  Abstraction on the other hand tends to zoom in on details to the point that the viewer is not sure what they are looking at.  It purposefully alters either in presentation, or creative manipulates the subject to the point of no return focusing on shapes, lines, patterns and spaces which results in more of an emotional/psychological connection for the viewer.  Even if the viewer dismisses the work as balderdash, crap, f’d up, worthless, pointless, etc,  they still have had an emotional response to the work.

The two series I am posting today are examples of my abstract way of seeing nature.  This latest project focuses on images from a frozen lake.  This first series involves subtle manipulation of the image by increasing contrast, desaturating color etc.  It consists of 6 images simply titled Lake Ice #1 – #6.

The second series is the result of trying to figure out what to do with the “bad photos” from that frozen adventure.  I always try to salvage my so-called bad images.  And that salvage process usually involves manipulating them to the point of oblivion.  This series is titled LAKE ICE EXTREME #1-#9 and tells us some valuable things.

  1. There are more “bad” photos than good ones (that’s why there’s 9 in this series and only 6 in the previous series.)

  2. The acronym for this series is L.I.E.  which basically says that what you are looking at is a lie of the mind caused by extreme manipulation of crop, color and exposure.

  3. While you may not recognize what you are seeing; I think we need to ask ourselves, “What is missing?”, “Does what’s missing matter?”, “Out of sight, out of mind?”, and “How does this increase or change our understanding of nature and the world around us?”  And those are questions each individual has to answer for themselves.

  4. Other considerations are “Why square?” – I was able to crop out a lot of the unmanageable parts of the image and the square crop helps us center our focus (in this instance).

  5. Color is a tricky thing.  If I’d left it natural they all would have been a dirty blue with some brownish tones and white.  When I decided to change the color to make the image a little more disorienting  I was surprised to find that each individual image had its color preference.  For example if the image is green (as in #) it’s because that’s the only color that “felt” right.  Honestly the red/purple/blue/yellow options just didn’t fit.   I always find it amazing how once you get started  the artwork seems to dictate it’s own color palette.   I’m curious if painters and other artists feel the same.

  6. I also envision these 9 images displayed together in the following configuration.

    (you can “right click” then open in a “new tab” to view larger versions of individual images for more details.)

Luminous City

This is a selection from a series of images (so far totaling 30). In this series I am exploring the edge of image through over-exposure. All these images were taken on a photo-walk in downtown Akron one Sunday morning. Just more of my further adventures in Non-representational, non-pictorial and non-objectivism with the camera as my paintbrush. It was interesting when I submitted these to my printer they contacted me and were reluctant to print them because there was so much white. I assured them that this was intentional as I want to explore the very edge of photography and question what we define as a photograph. I’m glad I insisted. I just got the prints and they are gorgeous!
I’m imagining them all hanging on a wall next to each other much like this presentation here where they create details of a much larger work.

One of my favorite poets is Philippe Jaccottet; from Switzerland (the country of origin of my ancestors). Here are two quotes that Fit this series and the soundtrack that I’ve selected for this presentation.

“White as the absence of colour, or death;
white as the essence of color, or, perhaps,
life transcended.”

“Things can fall apart again at any moment.
I can barely hold on to them, if I hold their shadows.
What I devour like a desirable meal is perhaps no more than absence.”

~ Philippe Jaccottet

The soundtrack I’ve chosen for this is An Ending (Ascent) by Brian Eno.
Enjoy.


It’s NUMINOUS

The continuing exploration of over exposure. This adventure began in my previous series “LUMINOUS IMPRESSIONS” [which can be seen here https://www.behance.net/gallery/24471909/Luminous-Impressions ] In some ways I think over exposure is a perfect metaphor for the internet era. When a photograph is over exposed it leads to “white out” situations where details become fuzzy and unrecognizeable. I wonder if that’s what will happen to us on the internet. Will too much exposure lead to a sort of personal and cultural blindness? And, is this a bad thing?

On the other hand – because of over exposure where things are not easily identified we are left to explore other realms of the over exposed image. It can give us new feelings and be an almost spiritual exploration into the non-pictorial and non-representational image. In other words, because we cannot readily identify something we are free to redefine it on our own mental, spiritual and emotional terms. Ten people can look at a photo of a kitten and all agree that it is a kitten they are viewing but when the image is over exposed each individual can come up with their own interpretation of what they are looking at.

Click “play on the video” then click on the first image and you will be able to see it large and then press arrow button to go to next image.