I believe in the power of stories. Iím a storyteller and this is the story behind the piece, "Cauldron".
For thirty-five years I made my photographs with my own handmade cameras. All my work was traditional film based photography and until three years ago analog photography was all I'd ever taught. I had no digital experience.
I currently teach art and photography at Bowling Green State University. A couple of years back there was a last minute scheduling change and I was confronted with the dilemma: either cancel our Digital Hybrids class or teach it myself. Never having done any digital photography whatsoever, no Photoshop, no Light Room, the reasonable solution was to cancel. However, as I looked at the course roster I saw that it was packed with some of the best students in the School of Art. I'd worked with many of them before and they were an exceptional group. I figured if I couldnít teach them anything about digital imaging, they surely could teach me. In fairness, I wrote them a letter warning them of my shortcomings but no one dropped the class.
I've been a working artist for forty years, and although my technical skills were less than desirable, I had endless ideas about methods for inputting and combining imagery. My first assignment asked students to scan objects or images that emphasized transparency and then combine them digitally with photographs to produce hybrid images. The piece, "Cauldron" was originally an example for the class that demonstrated the possibility of such a method. It was one of my very first digital images.
Technically, the photograph was nothing more than scanned water-based paint montaged with a lens-based image. Conceptually, I think of this piece as having to do with origin, emergence, transformation, rebirth, or the process of becoming whole. These themes run throughout all of my recent work, which for three years has been exclusively digital photography.
And the postscript to this story: I get emails from many of those same students who have looked at my recent website and have expressed disbelief at how far my digital work has come. For me as an instructor, it doesn't get any better than that.
born: 1948, Chicago
Northern Illinois University, MFA (Photography) 1976
Northern Illinois University, BFA (Metals) 1970
Studio Visit, Volume 23, Open Studios Press, p.108 and 109, 2013
selected solo or two-person exhibits
Solo Show, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art LA, California, 2014
selected group shows
KIngdom, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2014
The Experimentals, Positive Focus & Dumbo Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, 2006
New American Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois, 1981