“Confected” by Jason DeMarte on view at SRO Photo Gallery January 19 – February 14

LUBBOCK– Landmark Arts at the Texas Tech University School of Art presents Confected  by Jason DeMarte, as the fifth exhibition in the 2015 – 2016 SRO Photo Gallery Exhibition Series. Confected will be on view at the SRO Photo Gallery January 19 – February 14, 2016. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Jason DeMarte, Goldfinch-Pink Cord (2014), inkjet print, 24 x 36 inches.

For his series Confected, Jason DeMarte created deliciously deceptive composite digital images of artificial flora and fauna and processed food products. In this series, DeMarte represents an unnatural natural world while simultaneously commenting on the ‘sugarcoated’ and “hyper-perfect way products and modern consumer life are represented in the media.”

51101445197-Media-04

Jason DeMarte, Snails and Stars (2014), inkjet print, 24 x 36 inches.

Each photograph is vivid, enchanting, and life-like, raising questions about the contemporary understanding and experience of what is real, disillusionment with modernity, and the impact of consumerism and waste on the natural world.

51101445197-Media-20

Jason DeMarte, Purple Mt. Majesty (2015), inkjet print, 24 x 36 inches.

Jason DeMarte holds an MFA in Photography from the University of Oregon, and is currently an Associate Professor of Photography at Eastern Michigan University. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, and his recent series “Confections” has been the subject of numerous publications, including Huffington Post, BLOW Magazine, and Light Leaked.

The Landmark Arts SRO Photo Gallery is located in the sub-basement of the Texas Tech School of Art Building. The Art Building is located at 3072 18th Street (near the corner of 18th Street and Flint Ave). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. On weekdays, paid parking is available on the fourth floor of the Flint Avenue parking facility. Parking is free on weekends. Admission to the School of Art Galleries is free. Email srophotogallery.art@ttu.edu or visit www.srophotogallery.org for more information.

 

“El Sueño Americano Project” by Tom Kiefer on view at SRO Photo Gallery November 10th – December 6th

LUBBOCK– Landmark Arts at the Texas Tech University School of Art presents El Sueño Americano Project by Tom Kiefer, as the fourth exhibition in the 2015 – 2016 SRO Photo Gallery Exhibition Series. El Sueño Americano Project will be on view at the SRO Photo Gallery November 10 – December 6, 2015. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Tom Kiefer, Black Combs and Brushes (2013), archival inkjet print, 16 x 20 inches.

Tom Kiefer, Black Combs and Brushes (2013), archival inkjet print, 16 x 20 inches.

The El Sueño Americano Project (“the American Dream project”) by Tom Kiefer features photographs of objects confiscated by U.S Border Patrol in the process of apprehending individuals, often during attempts to cross the Mexico – United States border illegally. In this series, banal personal effects become representative of precious belongings chosen for a journey that is dangerous and unsuccessful for many.

51301537464-Media-14

Tom Kiefer, Satisfies! (2014), archival inkjet print, 16 x 20 inches.

The photographs are anonymous in that they do not reference any specific individual, but Kiefer’s grouping of similar objects in a number of the photographs point to shared values, needs, objectives, experiences, and ultimately, aspirations. Collectively, the photographs humanize and personalize the politicized and often polarizing issue of border crossing.

Tom Kiefer, Belt Labyrinth (2015), archival inkjet print, 30 x 30 inches.

Tom Kiefer, Belt Labyrinth (2015), archival inkjet print, 30 x 30 inches.

 

Tom Kiefer is a fulltime photographer based in Ajo, AZ. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States. A previous series by Kiefer entitled Ajo to Tuscon (2005) has been on exhibition tour continually since 2007, and his work is held in a number of public art collections, including the Phoenix Airport Museum (Phoenix, AZ) and the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection (Lubbock, TX).

The Landmark Arts SRO Photo Gallery is located in the Sub-basement of the Texas Tech School of Art Building. The Art Building is located at 3072 18th Street (near the corner of 18th Street and Flint Ave). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. On weekdays, paid parking is available on the fourth floor of the Flint Avenue parking facility. Parking is free on weekends. Admission to the School of Art Galleries is free. Email srophotogallery.art@ttu.edu or visit www.srophotogallery.org for more information.

“Screen Play” by Corey Escoto on view at the SRO Photo Gallery October 12th – November 8th

LUBBOCK– Landmark Arts at the Texas Tech University School of Art presents Screen Play by Corey Escoto, the third exhibition in the 2015 – 2016 SRO Photo Gallery Exhibition Series. Screen Play will be on view in the SRO Photo Gallery October 12 – November 8, 2015. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Corey Escoto, "The Big City," Silver Shade Instant Impossible Film polaroid, 8 x 10 inches.

Corey Escoto, “The Big City,” Silver Shade Instant Impossible Film polaroid, 8 x 10 inches.

Multimedia artist Corey Escoto crafts multi-exposure photographs with Impossible Silvershade instant film for his Screen Play Series by using hand-cut stencils inside his camera to “control exposure possibilities and the pictorial illusion.” The works are made through a multiple exposure process of cutting stencils through which the film is exposed section by section. The resultant images are composites of many images and scenes that project the illusion of a unified whole.  With photography as a means for also generating illusions of depth, texture, and coloration, Escoto incorporates texts into his sumptuous photographs to ‘expose’ common Hollywood tropes as well as question the “mechanics of the illusion” and the influence of popular media in today’s consumer society.

Corey Escoto, "The Plot Thickens," Silver Shade Instant Impossible Film polaroid, 8 x 10 inches.

Corey Escoto, “The Plot Thickens,” Silver Shade Instant Impossible Film polaroid, 8 x 10 inches.

Escoto states of Screen Play, “Painting radically shifted course upon the disruption and invention of photography, and now analog photography is being displaced by the efficiency and speed of the digital process.  With this in mind, the material (in this case analog instant film) calls out to be explored in its physicality both in terms of process as well as form.  This medium is quite effective and appropriate for constructing an illusion and a viewer is primed to read dimensional space within the the bounds of a photograph.  Whereas Hollywood relies on a high production volume of sets, actors, extras, soundtrack, costume, and lighting, these photos operate by subverting the perceived reliability as a truthful medium.  The photographs loosely adhere to a sequential narrative while each image stands alone as a stereotypical character type, allusion to plot, or scene.”

Corey Escoto, "High Speed Chase," Impossible Silver Shade Instant Film polaroid, 8 x 10 inches.

Corey Escoto, “High Speed Chase,” Impossible Silver Shade Instant Film polaroid, 8 x 10 inches.

Corey Escoto holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a BFA from Texas Tech School of Art in Lubbock, TX. He is currently a member of the Visual Arts faculty at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he is represented by Regina Rex Gallery in New York, NY.

The Landmark Arts SRO Photo Gallery is located in the Sub-basement of the Texas Tech School of Art Building. The Art Building is located at 3010 18th Street (near the corner of 18th Street and Flint Ave). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. On weekdays, paid parking is available on the fourth floor of the Flint Avenue parking facility. Parking is free on weekends. Admission to the School of Art Galleries is free. Email srophotogallery.art@ttu.edu or visit www.srophotogallery.org for more information.

Just Like Magic: Alternative Photographic Processes and the work of 2015-2016 SRO artist Rachel Rushing

TTU MFA Photo student Carolina Arellanos finds herself in her bathtub with bugs, paint, peroxide, and onions. She procures x-ray scans of bug bodies, paints over them with oil pastels, places the painted prints in a peroxide water bath, and tones them overnight with the juice of boiled onions or tea.  It is all part of her process in producing cyanotype prints. According to Arellanos, this process of creative documentation is “just like magic.”

Carolina Arellanos, Untitled (2015), cyanotype, 11 x 14 inches.

Carolina Arellanos, Untitled (2015), cyanotype print on paper, 11 x 14 inches.

Anna Atkins (1799 – 1871), an English photographer and botanist, was one of the first to employ the cyanotype photographic printing process, and she used it to document regional flora. Atkins created photo plates by placing wet algae or others plants directly onto light-sensitive paper and exposing the arrangement to sunlight. The chemicals used to sensitize the paper,  ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, also render the print’s negative space a deep blue.

Anna Atkins, Asperococcus Echinatus, from Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843-1853), Cyanotype. NYPL Digital Collections.

Anna Atkins, Asperococcus Echinatus, from Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843-1853), cyanotype print on paper, 8 x 10 inches. NYPL Digital Collections.

Following a radical digitization of the photographic practice that has seen a dramatic decline in photography darkrooms, a number of contemporary photographers are revisiting historic techniques in their continued exploration of the dynamic relationships between light, chemical processes, material to impress an image upon, and the external world.

Like the work of Anna Atkins, lumen prints from the series Excerpts and Artifacts from 33.053444 N, -96.991328 W by Rachel Rushing, on view at the SRO Photo Gallery until October 11th, were the result of ecological research. While working with the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility in Lewisville, TX, Rushing focused on a particular locale (33.053444 N, -96.991328 W) and observed the striking interplay of a verdant suburban creek bed and “human agency” in the form of industrial water management infrastructure and discarded things, where “because of the pervasiveness of human debris, it has become impossible to physically and mentally differentiate between what is natural and what is man-made.”

Rachel Rushing, Specimen #9 (Extra Large Pillow Case), 2013, lumen print, 16 x 20 inches.

Rachel Rushing, Specimen #9 (Extra Large Pillow Case), 2013, lumen print, 16 x 20 inches.

In response, Rushing created a series of prints in which she arranged plant materials and litter from the site on gelatin-silver paper and exposed it to the UV rays of the sun. These one-of-a-kind prints effectively document through an alternative photography method how the stuff of nature and the junk of modern consumption are thoroughly enmeshed in the landscapes of our time.

Rachel Rushing, Specimen #10.2 (Plastic Shopping Bag), 2015, lumen print, 16 x 20 inches.

Rachel Rushing, Specimen #10.2 (Plastic Shopping Bag), 2015, lumen print, 16 x 20 inches.

However documentary, processes such as cyanotype and lumen printing involve both freedoms and limitations in color, line, and even form, that recall the medium of painting.  TTU School of Art Associate Professor Carol Flueckiger has been exploring the cyanotype printing process for the past 15 years. Prior to working in this method, Flueckiger created small paintings by pressing leaves into paint, and the result appeared photographic. For Flueckiger, cyanotype similarly allowed for “printing into a painted surface” and additionally “offered a layer of texture, imagery and content.”

Carol Flueckiger, Untitled (2014), cyanotype.

Carol Flueckiger, Untitled (2014), cyanotype print on fabric.

In the throes of the digital age, the legacy and relevance of Anna Atkins’ work and “analog” photography methods persist. While experimenting with seemingly simplistic historic methods of documentation, artists maintain complexity and variety, and provoke new ways of seeing.