Thursday, September 26, 2013

Comparative Figures Opening Night

Friday, September 20, 2013 friends and photography lovers gathered to see 39 nudes by Sam Wang and Bill McAllister.
Visitors at the Comparative Figures reception (c) R. Duvall
The printing style varies substantially from image to image. Some of McAllister's prints are contemporary pigment prints, others from his darkroom on gelatin-silver paper. Wang's prints take an alternate tack, showing brush strokes in the margins from his hand-coated platinum and platinum over cyanotype prints. Even with the variation of printing styles the images work together.

One of the best examples of stylistic differences in composition and printing comes from Wang's print of Photographer and Model, with one of the most fluid figures I've seen. McAllister, camera in action, is included on the right side of the composition, almost blending into the boulders used for background. On the wall directly to the right of Wang's platinum over cyanotype print is a smaller pigment print by McAllister. His photograph is of the model shown in Wang's image just mentioned - but with a completely different perspective. This is also a wonderful comparison of how two artists can work within feet of one another and come away with results so different as to suggest different time, different place.
Becky New, Sam Wang, Bill McAllister (c) R. Duvall

Comparative Figures will be on display through November 9, 2013. On November 15, 2013 the first Through This Lens Members Show will go on display. For more information about the Member's Show check out this page on the gallery web site:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jesse Andrews and Tom Rankin Speak

Sunday afternoon, September 15, both artist Jesse Andrews, and special guest Tom Rankin visited Through This Lens to talk about Mr. Andrews' work.
Tom Rankin and Jesse Andrews (c) 2013 Roylee Duvall
The black and white photographs will be off the walls on Wednesday, so you have just one more day to see them - on Tuesday, September 17. Not only are these photographs traditional gelatin-silver prints, and shot on film, Mr. Andrews claims not to own a digital camera. When an audience member asked why he chose to use film, Mrs. Andrews said that the speed of the digital process was in his eyes, a disadvantage.
He is known as a thinker - an artist who puts much effort into each image, both in selection and the laborious method of making lush dark prints in his darkroom. During his talk he mentioned his admiration for Bill Brandt. Later, when I asked if there were other influences he mentioned Paul Strand and W. Eugene Smith. Another question that came up during the talk: Why are there black borders around each image on his prints? Mr. Andrews answered that the marks indicate a completely unmodified image from the way it was composed and captured.

Many old-school photographers will recognize the technique of filing out the negative carrier so that when a negative is enlarged the black line represents part of the film without an image - thus it becomes a symbol and guarantee of honesty by the artist. In the digital world, no such option or tell-tale mark exists. Maybe there is still a place in the world of photography for film - even in the 21st century.