This work reconciles the technology and the mediated experience of making a photograph with the tactility and the immediacy of making a drawing. First, in the darkroom, I expose the paper multiple times, as a photogram, without the use of a negative. Then, back in the studio, I scratch with a sharp tool or sandpaper directly into the emulsion of the paper. The work explores the color potential of chromogenic photo paper, serendipity in a completely dark room and mark-making on an unforgiving surface. Each piece is unique and expands the notion of what a photograph can be-not simply a reproduction of something that already exists but an object in and of itself, something completely new.
When photography was invented in the mid-1800's, it effectively freed painters from the responsibility of representation and paved the way for the modern exploration of painting materials and of the painting process. Photography today finds itself in a historically parallel moment due to the development of digital photography, and artists are exploring how photographic materials can be used, other than for strictly reproductive purposes. When I first started making this work in the late 1990s the pieces were a celebration of the processes that I encountered daily as a printer in a color darkroom. With the emergence of digital technologies many color darkrooms have closed, adding a new layer of elegy to the work that I can no longer make.
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