The Tactility of Prints

Otherworld 007 – scan from silver print

Otherworld was also a finalist for the Photolucida/Critical Mass award, for which I am once again so grateful. These last several weeks have been very rewarding, thanks to Klompching Gallery and Rfotofolio too. The entire project is one that I’ve been really happy with right from the start, but unfortunately, as soon as I felt ready to exhibit some of the images we hit the start of the pandemic, so any ideas for further exhibitions were put on hold.

They’re printed in silver-gelatin, which gives rise to questions about the images and how they’re printed exactly, because they are neither glossy nor matte prints, and they are not toned. The tactile quality of a print is so important to me. This all adds to the mystery of the images, but uploading and submitting digital files of them for grant proposals and exhibition call for entries is frustrating, knowing, just as with platinum prints or polymer photogravures, that on an uncalibrated monitor or screen they’ll likely lose detail and much of those qualities that I feel make them special. A lot of work goes into scanning and making the image files look as close to the original prints as possible, so for this work to have been received as well as it has, without seeing the original silver prints, is really rewarding.

Yesterday I received an email that included many of the comments made by the jurors, but this one jumped out at me. They compare my prints to etchings, which is what it’s all about, and this comment alone made all the hard work of scanning and editing the files worth while! Thank you!

“Interesting work. Related to the rare work of French engraver (etchings) of Georges Rubel…hard to find material, even online. A world either pre-humanity or post-apocalyptic.” 

— Critical Mass juror

Rfotofolio Award

Otherworld 008

I am so grateful to both Christopher James and Rfotofolio for choosing my project, Otherworld, for the Rfotofolio Award, in the 2022 Denis Roussel Award. Thank you!

Otherworld uses photographs taken in the upper Midwest to render possible models of the Earth-like planets currently being sought by NASA’s Kepler mission, and it also references the mythologies of many cultures that establish a land that is home to spiritual beings or the dead. These mythical other worlds of hope or doom often share characteristics with our familiar earthly landscapes, and I am using photographs of real places to suggest realms that may or may not exist. The images use barren terrains to suggest the earth-like landscapes photographed by rovers and other missions in space.

More images and information about the project can be found here.

“Plains” at Minnesota History Center

Back in 2017 I worked on this project with the photographer, Peter Latner. It consists of 58 mounted gelatin-silver prints, printed by Peter, with colophon, image index, and title page, in a custom, handmade clamshell case. I made the case, debossed the 4-ply museum board, mounted the prints, and printed the text pages.

The project was funded by Peter’s Minnesota State Arts Board grant that year, and is now in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society. The image was taken at the Minnesota History Center’s exhibition, “Art Speaks.”

FRESH 2022

I’m really happy to say that my Otherworld series has been selected by Klompching Gallery, in New York City, to be one of the finalists in FRESH 2022!

Finalists are selected on the basis of having demonstrated a strong vision, excellence in craftsmanship, and potential to expand and grow their creative practice. Of the photographers, some are already known, whilst others are just beginning to carve out their place within the contemporary art scene. Well-resolved projects sit beside those that are just beginning to be fleshed out. Wherever they are in their state of production, each Finalist’s creative practice shows great promise for contributing to dialogues about contemporary photographic practice.

FRESH 2022 Annual Photography Exhibition
FRESH 2022 – Keith Taylor

Small Silver Prints

With no road trips planned, or any trips for that matter, I’ve been making photographs around the house and garden and printing them small, and in silver-gelatin. They’re just 4 x 4″ in size on 8 x 10″ paper, slightly selenium toned and matted to 8 x 10″ in 4-ply museum board.

My prints have always been fairly small, either 6 x 6″ or 7 x 7″, but I find myself being attracted to smaller prints more than ever before. I love Polaroid for its size, squareness and colour palette, and the Polaroids of directors Wim Wenders and Andrey (Andrei) Tarkovsky, cinematographer Robbie Müller and, in black and white, Patti Smith, I find mesmerising and were the reason I started working with Polaroid again. Other photographers and their work I’m revisiting are the IOWA images of Nancy Rexroth, more so for the prints than her choice of camera, and the work of Øyvind Hjelmen.

All images are from print scans