From the very first photographs I took, self-portraits looking into a worn out mirror when I was fifteen years old, my intent was to be making art. Part of that intent always related to my painting. At that particular time I was immensely taken by the artists of the Renaissance.
No matter what the photographic subject, I worked aware of composition, while seeking a personal expression. It was my teacher, Guy Palazzola, who introduced me to making photograms. This was in 1955 when I was attending the school of Arts and Crafts in Detroit.
For a long time I enjoyed discovering what was possible using a camera…taking photographs pointing the camera directly into the glare of the sun, wanting to burn a hole through the film…light passing through a magazine page so that both sides exposed at the same time created a double exposure. Taking a photograph through a plate glass held in front of my camera I was able to capture the image in front and the image reflected behind me. These images have a similar appearance to a double exposure but they literally mean what was behind me and what was there in front of me, a metaphor for what was past and what lie ahead. My efforts included a geometric still life series documenting a black painting made on the snow…Pages taken from a Time-Life book of photos by famous photographers folded into geometric shapes, scanned and printed as a limited edition print. These diverse experiments are stated here to explain my development and remain important to me.
New Life Form Photograms
New Life Forms began in 1990. Because of my experimental attitude I discovered a new relationship between my painting and photography. Using a 4”x5” overhead camera I made photographs of assemblages on a light table. About the same time I made a device, which I named Flex Form. This was made of five flat aluminum geometric shapes attached with rivets. At first I used this flexible Penta form to make drawings, however one day I decided to make some darkroom experiments. The resulting photograms revealed a similarity to my paintings which surprised me then and continues to do so.