Action Shots and Still Pictures
My current work takes inspiration from silent movies, classic American movies and certain elements of popular culture. As an avid viewer of movies, I am fascinated by the way the moving image conveys visual information. This information is so complex and varied that I want to stop the moving picture and observe it more completely. I am compelled to make “still” pictures in order to play with the rich visual effects I observe.
The works are representational; they are appropriated from film stills. In some works the representation is obscured by veils of washes, flat glazes of color, or lines resembling image pixelation. The washes, glazes and lines mimic the way images in film, video and digital video are broken up in the process of electronic transmission.
The images look like figures in motion, portraits, landscapes and interiors, but I define them more specifically as action shots, close-ups and background sets. In the “action shots” I employ two frames of movement, or two pictures side-by-side, to convey a fragment of a narrative. The close-ups are derived from actual film stills, but the views are composites of several faces. The landscapes are based on photographs I’ve taken of actual buildings. They reflect on film techniques such as the panning of a motion picture camera across a scene. The interiors may be derived from film stills, or real-life interiors and objects. All of the work is intended to have a mysterious, atmospheric veil that conceals some part of the image.
These still pictures address the power of media: both traditional film and newer digital technologies create worlds that we are drawn to and absorbed by. It’s easy to become a passive viewer of our mediated world, but we do have the power to react to and interpret the layers of media that surround us.