ART and ARTIST

H O W ?

Photoshop allowed me to do all manner of manipulation and enhancements to reality in my real work as a designer/illustrator. Why not further impose my influence and will on my own photographic specimens by mutating them further? > It began to gel with one partiular image of a moon I shot to look like it was being eaten by a face-like rock formation in Utah. The visual joke was already there, but the negative space beyond the moon "ate" at me. I wanted to fill that space with something — something like that same formation flipped over. I had the tools, but never seemed to get to it. A photo of my wife and son climbing a long concrete staircase gave the same nagging feeling with its opposing space. > Reviewing new digital camera images froma visit to California, I began to experiment in Photoshop. It was a "Kismet!" moment as the pieces of a rocky, misty beach came together forming a wondrous otherworldly vision. I cropped and re-cropped to make just the right connections, then did the same with some snowy mountains jutting from the clouds and realized it might fit into the beach sky. "Sur Sierra Sequoia Beach" was an instant signature image. > From there I pieced together other of my photos, sometimes multiple images of a certain place or region, sometimes just a single intriguing shot, including, eventually, that moon-eating rock and that staircase. > The impossible perspectives and unnatural juxtapositions clicked all my psycho-social and aesthetic buttons. I started shooting specifically to feed my creations. While the serendipitous moments still gave me pleasure, I have learned to focus and hunt and crop (and recrop and recrop) to improve the outcomes. I liked the Dr. Moreau-ish mad scientist feeling, and felt my process needed an appropriate, marketable title. I devised (I thought) the name Symmetroscope, then googled and found it was a real name for a reflecting toy from the turn of the 20th century, mirroring (pun intended) what I was doing. Kismet again! > I have played upon my interests in various series, starting with "Squared Roots, Roots Squared," the result of my first planned shots. Roots have obvious symbolism and already mirror what's above them, and with their gnarly, writhing chaos conjure underworldly connections, crying out for order. > I had now begun to name and rename my images with rhymes and alliterations to echo the visual reversals, and continue to expand upon my other series: Art or Artillery; Architekturally Unlikely and its offshoot Victorian Visions; and Erocktions where I have taken to building stone cairns and groupings in outdoor settings then shooting them for this purpose. This led to Natural Reflection, where I have begun to create miniature natural assemblages in shadow boxes — some more symmetrical than others. Please email me for prints or information.

 

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