I just opened a new show at the Bank Sq Coffee House in my hometown of Beacon New York, and it will be on display until the end of Jan 2012. It features 11 large prints of landscape images I’ve made over the course of the past year or so, many of which I have shared and written about here. It’s also great to have Canson Infinity as a sponsor of the show, and I am very grateful to them for their confidence and support. It’s not often these days you find international companies willing to support small shows in local communities.
This exhibit is somwewhat different from ones I’ve done in the past in terms of how I’ve chosen to display the photographs. I wanted to bring viewers as close to the landscapes as possible, sort of the effect you get with canvas prints without any framing or glass to come between them. But instead of canvas, I wanted to print on my favorite paper, Canson Platine Fibre Rag, which for me translates the image as faithfully as I remember experiencing it in the field. I wanted the experience to be the same as when a print comes out of the printer, and you are able to appreciate all of the subtle details of the image and the paper.
At the same time I wanted viewers to perhaps come closer to appreciating the process of making a print, and how it interprets the original image, or the “performance” as Ansel so famously said. For me the print is half the process of making a successful image, and I wanted to make that clear, in all senses of the word, to the viewer. This meant no frame or glass, or other protective coating, and while this is nothing new in the art world, it was for me.
The only way I knew to do this effectively and economically was to mount the prints to 3/8 self-adhesvive gatorfoam, which is lightweight but very rigid. I printed the images on my Canon iPF8100 with a 2″ white border all around, then mounted them to the 24 x 36 gatorboards and trimmed the excess paper to create a clean and even look. I then glued two small strips of wood to the back for hanging purposes. The wood strips also help to lift the boards off of the wall an inch or so, creating a nice depth to the prints. To me this creates the desired visual effect which is very intimate and striking. I know this is detrimental to the prints themselves since they are not protected from things like dust and other airborne elements, but my emphasis was on viewing, and not on selling these specific prints.
The other aspect about this show that I want to make is that I really enjoy showing my work in settings like a local coffee house. So often people are intimidated by galleries and art-speak that I feel it interferes with the enjoyment and appreciation of the art work. I’ve never been one to call my own work “art”, that’s for others to decide. For me it is my personal expression of what I am passionate about, and I want that to have the potential to be appreciated by anyone, regardless of any other factor.
Plus coffee houses attract all kinds of people, so you never know who will see the work. I have made sales and picked up new clients from past shows, so anything is possible. I am not being negative abut galleries, on the contraty they have helpe me immesnsely as well, you just have to find the right galleries for your particular style and subject matter.
If you happen to be local, stop in and take a look. I will be having an opening reception in a few weeks and I’ll let you know as soon as I have a time and date.
Bank Square Coffee House – 129 Main St, Beacon, NY Open 6am- pm