Wednesday, June 27, 2018
The last post was an image that's twenty years old... this one is almost thirty years old, and likewise looks exactly the same as when I first made it— no Photoshop, just a straight scan from a beloved platinum/palladium print. Likewise, my work has changed, but I think that it still retains many of the same hallmarks. This was my Pictorialism phase (my first adopted style), which I still return to on occasion because I've never lost a fondness for it. While there is no precise definition of Pictorialism, I would describe it as a photographic approach focused on the beauty of subject matter and conjuring a certain romantic dreaminess rather than strict documentation of the world as it is. Early photographers felt that they had to prove that photography could be a relevant art form, not just a science. As a photographic art movement, it was strongest from 1885 to 1915. It then started to be phased out, and even scorned by photographers that were forward thinking— sharply focused, pristine and modern was the new thing. Most never looked back to it again. Of course, now that the history of photography has mostly been written, there really is no period that is irrelevant or overlooked— everything had its place and purpose. People are now just starting to go back and revisit past styles. I started right off the bat with revisiting past styles, because I felt that the 80' & 90's would quickly become painfully dated— I didn't see anything meaningful happening, and I wanted to avoid it all. Personally, I feel that Pictorialism could be practiced forever because it is based on timeless universal beauty.