Photo: Cathy Blaivas
I have been practicing professionally since 1975. My areas of interest are architectural, editorial and business communications photography.
I am a visual storyteller. My object is to communicate my clients’ stories to perfect strangers. This is critical in our society where we are overwhelmed with imagery. My photographs rise above the visual “noise floor” to get the attention of their intended audience.
Currently, I am working with clients in Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area.
My fine art and commercial practices have complemented one another; the technical discipline required for commercial projects has enabled the realization of my vision as a fine artist and the open experimental nature of my approach to fine art work has influenced commercial assignments.
I have a Master of Science in chemistry and worked as a chemist for years. This background continues to inform my photography practice, whether printing in the darkroom or exploring ink/paper combinations when using digital print technology in my studio.
I began to study photography with Aaron Siskin and Harry Callahan at the Institute of Design in Chicago and completed my formal studies with Barbara Kasten, John Upton and Arthur Taussig at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California.
Since 1975, I have earned my living making photographs. My work has appeared in numerous publications including West Hollywood Magazine, Santa Monica Magazine, Santa Monica Business magazine, Downbeat and LA Reader. My commercial practice spans architectural, editorial and business communications photography for a variety of clients. Showings at Bakery Art Exhibitions at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, and at the Pacific Design Center allowed patrons to view my music, landscape and architectural pieces. I have presented new work at Open Show Pasadena – East LA.
My 2006 solo exhibition 4: Fields, Windows, Yards, Gestures illustrates my interest in varied landscapes: Fields is a study of the energy created by the interaction of light with masses of vegetation. It began by over-exposing and over processing film, then printing for delicate grays to show the subtleties of the energy. Windows began as a commercial assignment to document the internal demolition of the Bryson Hotel. It became an exploration of the relationship of the interiors being photographed and the world seen outside the open windows. Yards is an exploration of the courtyards in my hometown of West Hollywood. I was interested in them as unique environments, created for and by the inhabitants of the dwellings defining the spaces. Gestures is a study of people in art spaces interacting with the environments and with one another. Can art and audience be separated?
Between 2008 and 2014, I explored what surrounds us but is rarely seen: found objects, architecture, people, food – whatever caught my eye. In the process, I accumulated more than 900 finished images. Two curated online exhibitions and a book have resulted.
Most of the images that I start out with in my fine art practice are found images. The light in the photograph is what exists in the scene. I’ve always envied artists, like painters, who can create the light that they desire from scratch. To tell the story that I want to tell, I modulate the light in post-production. I eliminate physical elements that distract from the story. I create a plausible lie in order to convey the truth as I perceive it.
My current project deals with urban landscapes, and includes both exteriors and interiors. I am interested in not only what is in front of the camera, but what is not seen by the camera. What is past the gate, behind the door or window, up the stairs, or in the next room?