complex inversion

still life photography

This still-life series explores spacial distortion through the combination of solid and linear elements. The linear string, flower stems, and ribbon create leading lines that transform the frame into an artistic space that resembles a painting or sculpture. The still lives were constructed by placing and hanging black and white objects onto a black velvet backdrop that either creates the illusion that they are floating or blending into the background.

Awards: Featured in 2018 Eleven40seven Journal of the Arts


Artist’s Statement:

Similar to Zeke Berman’s black and white still lives, many of the solid objects have a slender quality that lead the eye in a horizontal or vertical direction. The scenes were created indoors with a combination of natural and artificial diffused lightening. However, this is only truly recognized through reflections in the images due to the solid black background. A tripod was used to maintain a stable and consistent frame. 

The use of high contrast emphasizes the fine art quality in these images, which was adapted from the artist of inspiration, Zeke Berman.  Although Berman uses more spacial manipulation through perspective shapes and precisely placed string, the use of string in my series simplifies this approach. With Berman’s 1985-1994 work, the objects are used primarily, if not only, for compositional reasons. However, the subjects that I use are for both compositional purpose and personal meaning. The choice to have a more personal subject matter was inspired by Hannah Cooper McCauley’s photography, in which she often photographs trinkets or items that are personal to her past. Since being a musician is a large part of who I am, I decided to incorporate my oboe, reed shaping knives, and music notation into the series. The use of five horizontal strings mimics musical ledger lines, the treble clef with white pedals resembles written music, and the string tapering into the middle of the oboe creates a decrescendo-like shape. When people see this series, I hope that they understand the fine art quality of these minimal still lives and appreciate the compositional layout of each frame. I wish for the viewer to understand the beauty that high contrast, black and white images can have despite their lack of color. Just as beautiful piece of music is far more than black ink on a white page, these images have a complex beauty.