Friday, June 05, 2009

Artist Statement for "Vanishings"

For those that either can't or won't be at my show tonight, here is my artist statement. If you would like to come to the reception, it is at Imagebox (4933 Penn Avenue in Garfield), from 7-10PM.

"About 'Vanishings':

I had the idea to visit Eastern Penitentiary last summer, in the midst of a particularly acrimonious national election. Originally I meant the series to be a commentary on the direction of our nation, and the political and social climate of our society. I believe that this original purpose would have been consistent with the spirit of Alexis de Tocqueville, the Parisian who came to the US in 1831 to study this specific institution (modeled on Quaker philosophies and beliefs), as well as the American prison system in general.

In the intervening year since I booked the show, the content has taken on a host of additional personal meanings. While the specifics of the events that have lent additional heft to my feelings about the show are best left unexplained at this point, I will say that the symbolic weight of “prisons” has made its mark on my spirit. I would suggest that we are all limited by walls, whether literal or figurative, self-constructed or imposed, and our challenge is to identify them and assess their true utility for our existence.

About my process:

All my shots are taken in the field, and there is absolutely no intentional post-production on my part. I make every effort to ensure that the final print looks as close as possible to the image I saw on my LCD screen when I took each photograph. My efforts are not intended to express a negative commentary about editing software, but they are essential to the immediacy of my work.

About purchasing the artwork:

Framed prints are $100. If you are especially economically-minded, you can purchase a naked one for $66. Please keep in mind that the frames in this show were hand-made by local artisans, and each image is limited to an edition of ten. The inks and papers used in the print process are meant to ensure lasting quality over a lifetime.

Thank you for your considered support,

My Name
My Phone Number
My E-Mail

I wish to extend my gratitude to the following individuals who helped make this show possible: John Mahood, Paul Roden, Valerie Leuth, Jeffry Grim, J. Cleo Zell, Jeanne Zell, and Katie Zell."

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