A photograph within a picture frame is a key social item that human beings have grown powerfully attached to ever since the advent of the camera. From family homes to exclusive gallery spaces, this is something that could be found just about anywhere. But have you ever wondered why? I know I started to after starting my journey into the photographic world.
There is an entire culture out there among photographic artists who have taken the photograph out of the frame and placed it into our 3D world. This is something relatively new and that is quickly gaining support. Let’s dive into some of the artists exploring new ways to present their imagery.
Angela Deane is one artist and photographer whom I have been closely studying for her techniques with photographic works. She has an intriguing series called Flora that consists of vintage postcards turned into strange and other worldly scenes via hand painted faces. She also has a wide variety of video work I find incredibly interesting. What really stood out to me though was her ghost photographs.
This is a body of work that is made up of found photographs from places like garage sales and more. She hand-paints over the people within them to make them appear like white sheet-ed ghosts. This series remarks on memory, time, and space in a way that allows the viewer to become part of these moments. Deane is certainly among one of my favorites in taking the photograph out of the frame and manipulating its presentation.
There are many more out there who have inspired others to make their own unique discoveries in reaching outside of the frame. Among them, Justine Khamara has quickly gained following. Her intricate creations from deconstructed photographs are unlike anything I have seen yet. A sort of surreal optical illusion, her installations take photography to an entirely new level.
Susy Oliveira has also made waves for herself in exploration. Combining hundreds of photographs, she creates photographic sculptures that are characteristically within the ‘uncanny valley’ realm. In between reality and fiction these forms are an engaging remark upon our human obsession with replacing nature with fabrication.
Lastly but certainly not least, Robert Ladislas Derr has to be among the forefront of steering this culture forward. Born in the 1970s, he has a large range of experience with photography and experimenting with its presentation possibilities. In his series, Museum Preservation, Derr combined cyanotypes and rusted fuse boxes turned into light boxes to comment on the museum system itself. This body of work is from 2001 and amazes me that I am only now beginning to learn about it. I have a lot more research and exploration to go myself however, I have begun some experimentation.
My own images from an experimental photography class have inspired me to continue on this path of going beyond the glass and frame. I used my camera to photograph scenes through the holes of my backyard fence and then painted on the printed images to create a dreamlike movie appearance. This work was created to comment on feeling trapped until finally getting to ‘see over the fence’. I now have a marker of my beginnings with this journey and only time will show what it may bring forth.
Through The Fence, Desiree Hernandez, 2017
So, how about you take a chance with your photographs and create something new. A little tear or scratch won’t hurt...