I’m a visual person. I understand things through pictures. I would be a painter but I’m too lazy to be a painter. I like abstract imagery because of its ambiguity and openness to interpretation. Almost invariably, when asked, people see something different in my images than I do. I am always hesitant to title pictures and tell viewers what to think.
I would say that my primary sources of inspiration (not a word I like very much) are the natural world, the energy & chaos of life, dreams and other artists’ work. I look for light, energy, complexity, detail, color & nuance.
What is unique in your photographs?
My particular combination of skills, inclinations, experiences & point of view. Without my experience in commercial printing & photography I doubt that these pictures would ever have been made.
The context of creation of your new series?
As a commercial pressman, I mixed colors - weighing grams & fractions of grams of ink - opaque white, rubine red, metallic silvers & golds, a little black, a little pantone green or process blue - like a painter, my paint, mixed on a glass plate, milled & rolled, spilled out on paper. The process always fascinated me.
In 2012 I bought a digital camera and 20 pounds of commercial printing inks and started fooling around. What I had expected to be a photo shoot turned into an 8 year (& ongoing) project with over 30,000 images.
The beauty of the printing inks is that they mix and blend well while maintaining their color integrity. I mix inks on 9” diameter paper plates using forks, nails, brushes, plastic wrap – whatever comes to hand. The original palettes mutate over time – naturally (primarily through drying – different inks and pigments dry differently) and artificially, through the use of various tools, techniques and subterfuges. I place the palettes on a copy stand, light them and shoot them with a 200mm Nikon macro lens. Macro pictures – details, never to be seen by the unaided human eye – like a microscopic view of a master painter’s brush stroke. Very simple, very straightforward.
Any anecdote for us?
I work alone in a small basement studio, late at night or very early in the morning with light, and, viscous ink. Hard to come up with an interesting anecdote about that. Maybe when the dog got his nose in the blue – looked like an Yves Klein. Took some work to get him cleaned up before my wife saw him. Or, perhaps the time a studio umbrella caught fire. That was a bit more exciting than the blue dog.
The picture you would have loved to shoot?
These are the pictures I always wanted to shoot. Looking back through many years of work I see an ever evolving trend towards these images.
The latest prizes / awards / prides you got?
I have received no prizes or awards, though I have received some nice commissions & I have sold numerous pictures to individuals around the world online. I think it is very difficult to break into the “prize, award, commercial gallery” scene without some recognized artistic pedigree. Being self-taught with no degrees, no residencies, no professional CV etc., etc., etc. . . . I guess I think of myself as something of an “outsider” artist. That’s ok. I like my day job.
Your next projects?
Prune my hedge & finish my house remodel.
Don’t listen to what they say.
Any crush on a YK picture?
I am liking Ludwig Favre’s Palm Springs pictures.