Exhibition Spotlight: Ogden
Brock Porter @ Universe City
With the development of sophisticated but user-friendly digital cameras, it seems anyone these days can take a decent photograph. And if they can't, a few classes at a photoshop workshop will enable them to touch up anything that went amiss in the process of pointing and shooting. With the proliferation of slick photography by amateurs is it any wonder that photographers with an artistic bent are turning back to the manual, the retro and, in Amanda Moore's terms, the crappy (see page 5).
Brock Porter, an award-wining artist form northern Utah who has worked in the graphic arts and commercial photography for over twenty years, is one of these artists. As you can see this month at Universe City, Porter uses an out-of-date camera and rare film to capture instant images and then manipulate the emulsions as they are developing before him.
All of this is possible because of the Polaroid SX70, a blip in the technological advancements of photography in the 1970s. This model, the first instant SLR, was the first camera to use Polaroid's new SX-70 integral print film, which developed automatically without the need for intervention from the photographer. Due to its unique chemical make-up this film was susceptiable to manipulation immediately after the image was taken and while it was developing. Polaroid quickly phased out the SX70 model, but continued to produce the film to fill the hungry appetites of photographers who had become used to its unique features. That was, until two years ago when it ceased production of the film as well.
By ceasing production of the film, Polaraoid has effectively killed off an art form, notes Porter. "In December 2005 Polaroid announced the end of an era in non-traditional photography by ending its production of Time Zero/Sx-70 film. Effectively ending the art of SX-70 manipulation rendering it...a dead art."
In his photographs, Porter “pushes” the emulsion material around the photograph to produce effects somewhat like impressionist painting. In addition to treating the original image as a unique work of art, Porter also reproduces these images in a variety of larger sizes. The subject matter ranges from local landmarks, cars, animals, plants, and the familiar, unique or humorous places seen on a family vacation. Vivid colors are a unifying element of the exhibit.
"For me the SX-70 Manipulation process blurs and challenges the definitions of painting and photography by producing paintings with a camera and sticks," says the artist.
Porter first learned of the process in college in the late 90s but, ironically, only begain working with it in 2004. He first modified aa Polaroid 600 series camera to take the SX-70 film and evenutally worked his way to a full collection of vintage Polaroid cameras and original accessories.
"It forced me as an artist to work within the context of a time based process and have a plan for where to manipulate the image. There is no stopping once the process is in motion. It is both mechanical and hand done at the same time making each image truly unique, one of a kind. It strips away the photographic process down to the very basics almost on the level of toy cameras. It requires just the right lighting conditions. Finally it requires a timing and touch when moving the final image into place while the film is still developing. This process and its constraints forces a new an of ten-unseen view of the world for me. I am able to escape reality for a moment and acknowledge the simplicity of the process or image I am working."
Brock Porter's exhibit of photographs is on display at Universe City through June 16: Fridays, 5:00-8:00; Saturdays, from noon-8:00 pm. 392-2045.
Up and Upcoming: To The North
Exhibition Listings in Northern Utah
Prepared by 15 Bytes staff unless otherwise indicated.
The Ogden First Fridays Art Walk takes place every month on the First Friday. Galleries are open from 6 to 9 pm for receptions.
Eccles Community Art Center UP: Paintings of Doug Braithwaite (see page 9) and paintings by Sue Valentine in the Carriage House Gallery. UPCOMING: 33rd Annual Statewide Competition.
Gallery 25 (268 Historic 25th St., Ogden, 334-9881) UP:Art by Marama Hansen through June.
Gallery at the Station UP: The Photography of Howie Garber and sculpture of Fred Hunger through June.
Universe City UP: Manipulated polaroid photography by Brock Porter through June 16 (see above article).
AVA/Alliance for the Varied Arts UP: Blessing Akalaonu & Paul Grass Images of Music and Dining, through June 29
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art UP: May Swenson’s Muse: Art and the West through August 4, 2007. Vignettes featuring new acquisitions from the permanent collection, audio recordings, paintings, sculpture and photographs that are combined with language from May Swenson’s poems. Each vignette explores how visual objects inspired Swenson’s writing and her relationship to the region.
BDAC UP: Intermountain Society of Artists members exhibit and a companion exhibit of the photographic work of high school students from around the State of Utah. Both exhibits through June 8th.
The Intermountain Society of Artists enrolls a wide range of artists in media such as oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, abstract and sculpture. The members of the Society also sponsors a growing number of educational programs. The submitted art works will be juried by Bountiful artist and teacher Lester Lee. ISA President Iletta R. Green says the purpose of the Society is to help members create their art. “The ISA encourages artist, especially new ones, to paint,” said Mrs. Green. “We want artists to create, which is why we have a high priority on the educational programs offered by the Society.” The ISA was established in 1969 and currently has over 160 members in the intermountain region. On the night of the reception, most of the artists submitting works for the annual show will be present to discuss their work with the public.
The companion photo competition, also at the Bountiful/Davis Art Center, will feature photographs by high school students. Although there in no awards ceremony for the high school exhibit, ribbons will be awarded to the winners. The competition is open to all students from throughout the state.
The Bountiful/Davis Art Center will host a reception from 7pm to 9pm, on May 11th, with the awards ceremony beginning at 7:15pm.
Kimball Art Center UP: In the Kimball’s Main Gallery, through July 15, Utah mixed media painter Jacqui Larsen will display her work. Larsen uses a unique mixture of materials; oil painting on collages. Her materials include papers, maps, stamps and cloths. She said, “I’ve always wanted to exhibit at the Kimball so this is a dream that I’ve had for years coming true.” Larsen grew up in New York and then attended BYU. She has spent most of her life in Springville, Utah with her husband Lance, who is a poet and BYU professor of English.
Photographer Keith Sharp brings his unique style and sense of humor to the Kimball Garage Gallery. His photos capture nature in comical moments sure to amuse gallery goers. Sharp brings his artwork to the Kimball from his home in Media, Pennsylvania. The photographer’s works have been displayed in a long list of impressive exhibits nationwide. Sharp said, “I became interested in creating diptychs when I noticed how some objects whether in a photograph, painting, or real life, could resemble or mimic something else. Through the juxtaposition of subjects, I attempt to create work that is humorous and that speaks about perception. Largely our understanding of the world around us is shaped by assumptions of what we see.”
Erin Berrett of Holladay, Utah, captures magical moments in her paintings. Entitled, Under Construction, her artwork is on display in the Kimball’s Badami Gallery. As quoted in Salt Lake Magazine, Berrett said, “I like still-life so much because I get to create the moment and then translate it into a painting and other people get to enjoy it. I just want to make beautiful paintings, make magic out of common, ordinary things. I love sharing that moment.” Berrett studied fine arts at the University of Utah. Berrett and Sharp exhibits run from June 2 July 24.
Meyer Gallery UPCOMING: Wet Paint, a new show featuring select Meyer Gallery artists will hang in July, with an opening reception on Saturday, July 14th from 6 to 8 PM. New paintings this mornth from Jeff Pugh, Brad Overton, Douglas Aagard, Slava Tchistiline, and Will Pope. Also, check out the July/August issue of Utah Style and Design Magazine for an interview with gallery owner Susan Meyer.
Redstone Gallery (1678 W. Redstone Center Drive, Park City, 435-575-1000) New works by Jurgen Gorg through June.
Julie Nester Gallery UP: New Work By Gallery Artists through June 29. Including: Harry Ally, Tor Archer, Gerard Bourgeois, Philip Buller, Gregg Chadwick, Marshall Crossman, Rob Douglas, Robin Denevan, Stephen Foss, Hyunmee Lee, Darin Masero, Mark Stasz, Kirsten Stoll.