Monday, June 24, 2013

grad school and beyond

Farview's Gold Dust, Moorestown, NJ, 1990
Still sorting through old photos, and I found some from graduate school. After graduating from School of Visual Arts in 1988 with a BFA in photography, I went straight in to grad school. It was a special program through NYU at the International Center of Photography. There were some great people, and the technical offerings at ICP were outstanding, so I focused on becoming a better technician.

I was shooting with a Hasselblad 503cx, 120 film, which produced square negatives with better resolution than 35mm. Subject matter was mostly straightforward and classically composed. The square format was a nice change of pace from the 35mm rectangle.

Vermont, 1990
At ICP, I was extremely fortunate to have Chuck Kelton and David Graham as instructors. Both were very influential. There were also some offbeat classes, and surprisingly, those didn't appeal to me as much. One of the required classes was almost like a group therapy session. I went along with it, but didn't buy into it. Still, I had to do an exhibit for my final thesis project- and this time I wasn't going to end up with a bunch of framed photos going into storage afterwards.

I went in a completely different direction, and did an installation. The exhibit was at 80 Washington Square East Galleries, and it included mostly vinyl, plastic, polaroids and water. There was an inflatable vinyl pool full of water with Polaroid self-portraits floating on the surface, and a large wall piece made of rope, plastic Ziploc bags, and pictures of a swimmer in the water. It was only displayed once, and some of it got thrown away, but I still have the wall piece packed into a small box.

It was actually rather lovely, especially the wall piece. It was mounted to the wall with hooks and turnbuckles, and as a result it was hovering an inch or two off the wall. The lighting enhanced the effect. Wish I had better pictures, but these snapshots give a rough idea of how beautiful it was.

When I was done, I was done. I didn't attend graduation, but picked up my degree from a basement office at NYU. After that, I continued to do some "fine art" photography and other artwork for a few years, but things would soon change with the introduction of digital cameras. Since then, I've used photography in most everything I've done. Turns out, my education couldn't have been much finer and couldn't have prepared me any better. 

No comments:

Post a Comment