The evocative and thought-provoking works of nine D.C.-based photographers will be on display at Studio Gallery in conjunction with FotoWeek DC 2017. The exhibit features pictures that exemplify each photographer’s approach to the theme of Abstraction/Representation. Artist statements from Iwan Bagus, Andy Bloxham, Soomin Ham, Leena Jayaswal, Jo Levine, Steven Marks, Rania Razek, Shaun Schroth, and Alexandra Silverthorne will explore the ideas, challenges, and visions that inspired them. 

Review by Mark Jenkins of the Washington Post:


I'M PRINT 1 & 2

My prints cover the world; imprinted and etched by hands that are not my own. How many hands went into making these two images displayed before you? That number can be a gross oversimplification or a number far from fathomable. 

Two hands and two feet made this work come into being, but the reality is that there were far more hands and feet at play.

As artists, we most typically find ourselves in the roll of a creator, gathering materials, measuring, planning, testing, and executing our creative ideas and visions. But as creators, we often fail to recognize the impact or complicated relationship between creation and consumption. 

A simple list of materials for these pieces would look something like this: gum bichromate/ carbon print on paper, framed.

A slightly more detailed version, like this: gum arabic, potassium dichromate, potassium metabisorbate, carbon/charcoal, hot-pressed watercolor paper, wood, styrene, aluminum, and plastic. 

Yet in reality the list of materials is much more extensive: gum arabic, potassium dichromate, potassium metabisorbate, distilled water, carbon/charcoal, plastic packaging, sticker label, printing press ink, plastic bubble packaging, cardboard shipping container, tape, inkjet printer ink, wood pulp, tap water, wood, printed paper insert, styrene, protective plastic wrap, aluminum, plastic, shrink wrap, printed sticker. 

Even this list fails to take fully into account the myriad of materials used and consumed in the sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution of the basic materials or the amount of energy consumed in such endeavors. Even the most devoted pursuit would likely overlook some piece in the chain of events that led to my ability to create this piece.

My hands didn’t mine the ore that built the machines that transported the minerals to the refinery that shipped them off to a laboratory for processing and packaging which was delivered to a store for my utilization for your consumption. 

There is no thing on this planet that I have not indirectly touched.

Going Mobile

Today I began working on a 'dark box' or portable darkroom, whichever you prefer, to begin doing tintypes on the road with Imaginem Studios. In the process of figuring out how to lighten our load for city travel, sans car, and not break the bank, we'd come up with a solution! Turn an old Nikon 300mm lens case into our mobile lab. After a few designs, we'd come up with something cost effective, lightweight, and highly mobile. Now, to build it. Below are some of the images from todays build, mostly getting the plexi cut for the base, cleaning, and affixing the foam.

Next we'll add the deep-red acrylic to the top and add our modified changing bag! We'll be mobile in no time!

Hand Coloring

I'd been wanting to get back into drawing lately but have been averse to actually sitting down to do so. I'd also recently gone through my box of art supplies looking for some paint to give to a friend; I came across a few Prismacolor Markers while rummaging. I love these! I want to color! So, I started going through my boxes of darkroom prints and tests. Surprisingly, I didn't have as many prints at home as I thought I did, but I found a few to get me started.

No Photoshop here! These are hand colored using Prismacolor Markers (a very limited pallet), paper towels, a hairdryer, and patience. The pigment doesn't soak into the gelatin the same way it would paper, so it takes a good layer and wipe to even it up a bit. This leaves a very pale version of the color being used, but with a bit of practice I was able to build up some tonal variation. Another issue that I'd run into occurred when layering a new color on a dried area. The alcohol from the marker would basically erase the previous layer, even when thoroughly dried. Good to know though, it helped me 'erase' a few mistakes. I tried the marker on three different paper surfaces: glossy, pearl, and matte. The matte paper took the pigment the best, but the glossy allowed for more correction if needed. I'm not sure when I picked up these markers, but some were drying up and others worked as though new. I keep the dying markers for blending, but this surface worked markedly different than bristol board, and they didn't perform nearly as well as the wet ones. All in all, it was fun to try something different and to get back to using my hands and not a mouse. Below are some quick scans of the images. The bridge image was a lith-print, so it already had an orangy-peach tone to it, and the other two were un-toned straight prints from the darkroom.

Selma, but not that Selma

With Selma in the news recently, it was interesting to stumble upon a different Selma so close to Washington, DC. I'm speaking of the Selma Plantation near Leesburg, Virginia. Sitting at the base of the Catoctin Mountain, Selma was the residence of Armistead Thomson Mason, a US Senator from Virginia. Selma was a 10,000 acre plot of land. The main house was built in 1900 and is considered one of the best and earliest examples of Colonial Revival architecture in Loudoun County.

The house now stands vacant. In 2008 the owner filed for bankruptcy, and the home is now on Virginia's list of "Most Endangered Historic Sites".

Driving up to the house in itself was a interesting experience. It sits on a vast expanse of land that overlooks the entire area, which is now populated by new housing clusters that have no distinct architectural value in comparison to the the mansion overlooking them all. Selma sits forgotten, but the money and land ownership aspect remains prevalent in a unique juxtaposition of old amongst the new. 

Sadly, the home and grounds, seem to be neglected more than they are dilapidated. The structure is solid and the plaster walls intact, although many windows are shattered. Paint and wallpaper peeling appear to be the only aspects of the home that need immediate attention, yet atop the hill it sits alone, slowly being taken over by the unkept landscaping.

Darkroom Editions

This series of prints were created for the 'apARTment' show over the Summer of 2014. More of them can be seen in the Fine Art section of the website under Darkroom Editions.

Some of the prints are meant to be a set, such as the blue, red, and yellow (primary) set in the above gallery. Others are single camera images, minus the halftone print. There are single images that art toned with Halo-Chrome, a silver toner that provides a matte or mirrored silver finish. All of these prints are one of a kind, in terms of toning, and available for purchase.

48 Hour Film Project 2015

Official dates May 1-3 announced for this year's Washington, DC 48 Hour Film Project!

Here's a link:

This will be the third year that A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. will be participating in the 48 Film Project. Looking forward to another great weekend of writing, filming, arguing, computer mishaps, stressing out, and having on hell of a time with my film crew.

Below is our film 'Claire' from last year's competition, which won an award for 'Best use of Line'. Disturbing was our goal, you've been warned.

48 Hour Film Project - Washington, DC 2014 - A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. Criteria: 1. Character: Samuel or Samantha Canterbury 2. Profession: Event Planner 3. Prop: Envelope 4. Line: "You can trust me" 5. Genre (random): Horror. Awarded: Best use of line.