Tracey Snelling, Views on Interiors

We’re enamored with the intricate, voyeuristic worlds of Tracey Snelling’s photography.

From her site:

“Driving down the street at night, I look at the lit windows of the houses that I pass, and I wonder who lives there. What is taking place behind that drawn window shade? A tired motel sign along the side of the highway still buzzes and beckons travelers to come stay in one of the faded rooms. An old furniture store on a street in a forgotten downtown is dark and the sofas are covered with dust. I want to know the stories of the people who once inhabited these areas.

My work derives from voyeurism, film noir, and geographical and architectural location. … Who are these people? What do they do and why do they do it?

…At the core of my work resides the intersection of place and experience. I try to do this with as much respect as possible to foreign cultures and tradition, while staying true to the call of the artist by shining a light on the little seen corners. Ultimately, my personal views and ideas come into play, and I believe it is this melding, the known with the unknown, the foreign with the familiar, that fuels my work and creates such a rich experience for the viewer.

View more or Tracey’s work on her site.

Tim Sullivan Causes a Blackout

Dickerman artist-in-residence Tim Sullivan has reversed the world of exposure in the most interesting and unusual way.

Using black lights (no glow here, actual blackened lights, friends), Tim paints the objects of his still lives in their opposing hues. Then he photographs his carefully-constructed scenes, and reverses the color image.

The result? A world where light shines black, and shadows are a luminous white.

Here’s a description of the photography Tim will be sharing in his upcoming show:
(via Steven Wolf Fine Art website)

“Using cheap tricks, bad puns and a perverted color spectrum, Tim Sullivan bathes a new body of photos and sculpture in a playful, malignant darkness. Commonplace images from advertising and some of the artist’s treasured objects of nostalgia are rendered uncanny by this complex nocturne.

Darkness and light are nothing more than digital constructs in this black-lit parallel world. While some may shrivel in the tenebra of this 24-hour punk rock basement, Sullivan lounges in it like a vampire. And when he rises and waves his scepter, darkness becomes visible.”

Here’s quick cell phone shot of Tim’s blackened lightbulbs. Each of these has been flocked, to appear as if the blackness, or hue is the kind of “light” that illuminates his subjects.

City Life Without the Light

Thierry Cohen wants us to see the connections with nature we’re missing every day. (Or those of us who live in big cities).

Looking Up

Seth gave me a tip about this fascinating Nasa-run blog, Astonomy Picture of the Day. Take a look at this stunning image from earlier last week:

The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation
Credit & Copyright: Nick Pavelchak

Explanation: The North America nebula on the sky can do what the North America continent on Earth cannot — form stars. Specifically, in analogy to the Earth-confined continent, the bright part that appears as Central America and Mexico is actually a hot bed of gas, dust, and newly formed stars known as the Cygnus Wall. The above image shows the star forming wall lit and eroded by bright young stars, and partly hidden by the dark dust they have created. The part of the North America nebula (NGC 7000) shown spans about 15 light years and lies about 1,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus).

Here’s the link for your daily dose of what’s out there.

“Underwater” with 81 Bees Photo Collective

Wednesday, November 14th, we are hosting an exhibition by local photo collective 81 Bees. “Underwater” is a sister show to the exhibition on view at PhotoBooth, the Mission-based tintype studio, photography vendor, gallery, and all-around photo nerd watering hole. Here’s our interview with two 81Bees photographers.

Kim Sikora: 81 Bees seems to encompass a wide expanse of photographers. Some with a commercial practice, some in other photography-related positions… Can you explain how the collective was originally formed?

81 Bees photographer Clare Coppel: 81Bees Collective formed in June of 2008. 81Bees is made up of students from City College’s Advanced Black & White Darkroom Class and more people have joined over time.

81 Bees photographer Bob Nishihira: The advanced black and white class at CCSF is called Photo 81B. Four years ago, a number of students from that class decided to form the 81 Bees Collective soon after the semester had ended.

KS: How do you handle membership? Does your group continually grow, or are you interested in more consistent, long-term members?

81B CC: Our group is always changing and adding people. Some participate more than others, it’s very open ended.

81B BN: At first the only members were from the original class. Later, subsequent “graduates” from Photo 81B joined. Eventually, any CCSF photo student could join, usually by invitation. There is no membership cap at this time.

KS: As a group, what are your goals?

81B CC: Our goals are to create photography, share ideas and socialize. Sharing ideas is a big part of the creative process and for effective work flow. Not everyone is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. Each person is their own individual artist, with a collective there is community aspect that is really valuable and fun. Have other people to depend on and depending on you can be very motivational.

81B BN: Our goals are to have fellowship with other photography lovers, to share ideas, to advance photo skills, and to receive recognition for our photography.

KS: Is there any desire for unity of vision across the collective? Why or why not?

81B CC: We like the variety, yet we do many things together.

81B BN: We actually like the variety of work within our group. When we have a show, not everyone will enter photos. Some will decide that it isn’t compatible with their style or interest. The group’s variety encourages each one to explore new directions.

KS: Thinking about your work within the context of the collective, what are your thoughts on individual artistic vision vs. the group’s artistic identity?

81B CC: I think everyone has their own vision 1st and then we find common ground with in the group. It’s a balancing act because anytime one works with groups of people the group becomes its own entity, however each person is an individual and has different ideas to consider.

81B BN: The group identity is not content driven. Technical skill and professional presentation are the common threads that bind the collective’s identity. This loose group identity allows each individual to travel his/her own path of creativity without constraints.

KS: In your opinion, what’s the strongest argument for joining or forming an art collective?

81B CC: The chance to share ideas, inspire and network. Also food. Food is very important to us.

81B BN: The art collective motivates one to create, to produce. (Two heads are better than one, three better than two, etc.)

KS: In your involvement in 81 Bees, hat has your biggest success been?

81B CC: Maintaining the group over 4 years. The group communicates online. There are sometimes a lot of emails to keep up with. One great thing about a collective is that different areas of responsibility are taken care of by different people. It takes a village… A lot of coordinating is us reaching a time based goal together everyone is pretty self motivated.

81B BN: Gaining and maintaining friendships.

Stop by for the opening exhibition Wednesday November 14th, from 7-830pm. And keep an eye out for future shows and a possible photography book from 81 Bees photo collective.

A few member websites:

Yelena Zhavoronkova
Susanna Troxler
Bob Nishihira


Hiroshi Sugimoto

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Electric Imagery

I have very few words for these images, in the ultimate awe they’ve just inspired. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s series, “Lightning Fields” was shown in 2009 at Fraenkel Gallery.

Each of Hiroshi’s images was created using a 400,000-volt Van De Graaff generator electrically charge his film, producing the incredibly haunting images you see here.

Robert Buelteman Shocks His Subjects

Right on the tail of our previous post about Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s Lightning photographs, came this write-up on PetaPixel of Dickerman Prints client Robert Buelteman.

Robert’s process is another interesting method to grapple with, as he uses 80,000 volts of electricity to capture auras of electrons and light radiating from his floral subjects.

Robert employs what are called Kirlian photography techniques, or electrophotography. He pares down the natural objects with a scalpel, shaving away layer after layer until the resulting flower is almost transparent. The flower is layered with color transparency film and a diffusion material, and photographed on his fabricated metal conducting easel.

Binh Danh’s Chlorophyll Leavings

Binh Danh has been recrafting memories, using chlorophyll, leaves and the sun.

“Immortality, The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War” is a project that addresses the continuum of war, both in the artist’s memory, and in the life and landscape of Vietnam.

Binh says the original idea for this exposure process came from seeing the time-based effects of harsh sun on his lawn. Objects such as hoses or tools that were left out left imprints of their presence on the baked, dry grass.

Binh uses this transference to explore his personal understanding of the Vietnam War, casting his temporal views in resin, as artifacts.

From his statement,

“This process deals with the idea of elemental transmigration: the decomposition and composition of matter into other forms. The images of war are part of the leaves, and live inside and outside of them. The leaves express the continuum of war.

They contain the residue of the Vietnam War: bombs, blood, sweat, tears, and metals. The dead have been incorporated into the landscape of Vietnam during the cycles of birth, life, and death; through the recycling and transformation of materials, and the creation of new materials.”

See more of “Immortality, The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War” and read his project statement here.

Cristina de Middel Reaches the Moon

Cristina de Middel was the recent recipient of the Women in Photography Lightside Individual Project Grant. The $3,000 award helped fund her projects “AFRONAUTS” which explores Zambia’s 1964 program to become the first in space.

Read the WIP article here.

Women in Photography is a fantastic photography resource, begun by Cara Phillips and Amy Elkins, now run through the Humble Arts Foundation.