THE JANUS EFFECT: New Photographs from Old Techniques exhibited 3/15/2013 - 4/27/2013
I create visually interesting imagery . . .
The Bacon Chronicles are a photographic exploration inspired by the work of the Irish painter Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992). The Chronicles investigates the conceptual common ground we share as artists, in that we both use photographic imagery as a creative means to an end, rather than as an end unto itself. As Bacon’s paintings were inspired by photographs, my conceptual photographs are inspired by his paintings.
Each Chronicle is carefully staged with emphasis on the relationship of the figure to its surrounding environmental elements. Without the use of digital manipulation or the influence of color, I rely solely on the shape of the figure, costumes and photographic techniques to achieve a painterly effect. The resulting work is an example of my interpretation of Bacon’s vision, captured on a wet-plate collodion covered piece of black glass called an ambrotype. Each image suggests a photographic vision rather than what may be termed ‘explicit’ in a straight photograph.
Approaching the conceptual image from opposite directions, Bacon and I attempt to interpret our visionsas we perceive the reality of what the camera has rendered.
The Bacon Chronicles have been created using the antique photographic medium of wet-plate collodion. This process was first introduced in 1851 by the Englishman Frederick Scott Archer. It is called wet-plate because the plate, be it glass for negatives or ambrotypes, or metal for ferrotypes or tintypes, cannot be allowed to dry during the entire procedure. Once the plate has been coated with the clear volatile, viscose collodion solution, it must be immediately sensitized, exposed in the camera, developed, fixed and rinsed before the plate dries. The plate loses sensitivity and usefulness once it begins to dry. The entire wet-plate process must be performed for each plate taken.