So this should be my about me, but like others I'm terrible with talking about myself though text, or it's terrible to read when I do. So I'm going to let my work speak on it's own and fill in some stuff about how I view my black and white work.
In the same spirit of the prolific photographers of the 20 th century, I try to document our times and surroundings. The subjects I choose both symbolize the city I'm in, as well as a bit of the dirty and grittier side of Minnesota – alleyways, and winter. However, unlike my mentors in the past, my photos aren't meant to be journalistic, but a portrait of the subject with the same type of retouching and care I give my digital fashion work.
Currently my time is spent researching and exploring new ways of printing, since I feel digital prints are too reproducible and expendable to be called true one of a kind artwork. My goal is to create images that both represent the fragility of life, but also show the virtue of past painters and sculptors, and create something unique that can't be reproduced.
In 2009 I started my Parking Meter project, to highlight and push my views about expendability in art and reproductions. A parking meter is simple, a classic shape, and shares some traits with the human form – it's also a design that's withstood the test of time. This form, that's neither trendy or boring has been reproduced in one way or another for the better part of a century, but yet represents individuals and their own personal interaction with the city and government. So what better way to highlight this mass production than use a format which also can be mass produced, only instead of many prints, do a individual portrait of an individual meter, one print of one unique meter.
Photography is also a long journey, and bodies of work are viewed not by year or by month, but by photographers lifetimes. I'm very proud of my collection, and am looking forward to join the ranks of leading local Minnesota and regional Midwest art and landscape photographers
When I view your black and white work, now this is the work that I really, really, am floored by. I feel like I am in 1949 and that's hard to imagine because I wasn't born till about 4-5 decades later. From the work I have seen of that age, the look and feel of it is still the same. It feels like I'm there. I Wish I could see a massive print of at least 30x40" of these to fully enjoy the detail in them. For now I can just visualize.
I find as a photographer one of the most frustrating things to try to convey is the feeling of being there. The detail isnt quite as sharp. It isnt as bold. It isnt quite as nearly as real as it is when we see. I find the more I feel like I am actually there, viewing the photograph as a real place, the better done it is executed. Not only that, when I am able to feel the emotion and the mood...thats even better. A view of Downtown in the Winter - 2008. Something about that light, that dark, that definition and detail that I see in my dreams. Another one that really beckons to me is the Loring Park Alleyway 2010 and the Loring Park Apartment Building panorama. Now that feels like I am there. From then on when I look at your work, although cliche, I feel the sense that I am really there, but not only there. I feel like I -am- those moments.
Karl Johnston, Nature Photographer, www.karljohnston.com