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. 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 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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