Monday, May 7, 2012
Inspiration From The Masters
I have been inspired by numerous artists both historic and contemporary, but the three main artists who have impacted my personal perception of photography and Fine Art are Lothar Wolleh, Jerry Uelsmann, and Jackson Pollock.
Lothar Wolleh had a very unique and individual style in regards to his photo work. He used characteristic square format for his images, and a majority of them had symmetrical composition. Wolleh was an extraordinary commercial photographer, but he is best remembered for his exceptionally creative portraits of famous artists and sculptors. He would photograph the artists and include their work, while incorporating his own creative ideas into each shot. Wolleh compositionally was able to combine and capture both art and documentary. One image I particularly love Wolleh used a slow shutter speed to create a motion blurring effect. This blurring effect gives this idea that the painter he was photographing becomes one with the canvas. He claimed his work was never accidental, and Wolleh knew in advance what he wanted the outcome of every final piece to be. He was a fantasist and perfectionist, and most often his best images were crafted when he created from a distance. I liken myself to Wolleh in regards to being a fantasists and perfectionist. I generally know in advance how I want my images to look, and am always pushing my creativity to the next level. Lothar Wolleh had his own style of photography, and through my photographic experience I hope to gain an independent style as well. Art is constantly evolving I believe that is one reason Wolleh chose artists as his subjects; however he too has helped evolve the Art of photography. Being an artist myself I appreciate the lengths of creativity Wolleh brought to the photographic world.
Jerry Uelsmann is an avant garde mix master in the dark room. Uelsmann is an exceptional printer producing composite photographs with multiple negatives and extended dark room work. Uelsmann uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final pieces. His images create surreal landscapes that interweave images of buildings, rocks, trees, and human figures in fantasist and unexpected ways. Ueslmann often said he had a desire “to amaze himself” and to constantly aim for surprise and a feeling of accomplishment knowing that the work came from him. I too have the desire to “amaze myself” there is no better feeling than being able to say I created something truly unique and original. If there is one thing I love most about Uelsmann's work, it is that every photograph is different. He was in every sense of the word a creator. My most recent photograph was inspired by an image of Uelsmann's. I have never printed using more than one negative before, but now that I have I can see the time and energy he spent perfecting every image he manipulated. Each negative needs the right amount of light to acquire proper exposure. In addition, dodging and burning are necessary for blending certain parts of the image together, as well as maintaining the correct levels of contrast within the image. When I view his work the only word that comes to mind is “amazing”. I hope to one day have that same effect on viewers of my photographic works. I want my art to broaden the way people view the world. Ueslmann’s photography is not that of reality, but something pictured in dreams. My art and photography test the idea of reality and often morphs dreams and reality together in unique and unexpected ways.
"When I am in a painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc. because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well." –Jackson Pollock
I believe in order to create something special one has to be open to the idea of change, as well as staying focused and in essence “one with the artwork”. I find it incredible the obstacles Jackson Pollock faced as an artist, and his abstract ways of creating something new. Pollock struggled with drawing and technique in the art realm. I liken myself to Pollock because I too struggle with drawing, but use color and line in an abstract expressive way to create emotion and convey a message through my paintings. Line is one my favorite elements of design, and I do not know anyone who expressed line stronger in their art than Jackson Pollock. I have done a number of drip and fluid paintings, and I absolutely love experimenting with them. I also love that he never gave up on his passion for art, and constantly pushed his creativity outside the norm. I know I will paint for the rest of my life, and I hope to somehow influence the world in a positive way. Like Pollock I want my art to express my inner thoughts and emotions, but also demonstrate a love for mankind.
Today, as I peek through the viewfinder I have the tools and basic principles to capture a good image. I understand the functions of the camera, and how to acquire the correct exposure. I want my images to become more than just “good” images. I strive for challenges and to push my creativity beyond the norm. I love to create abstract expressive paintings, and experiment with different techniques in art. Researching and learning from historic masters like Uelsmann, Wolleh, and Pollock I have been inspired to take more than just a picture and do more than just paint. I desire to create a new form of art.