Bryan Whitney Description
Photographer Bryan Whitney is not merely drawn towards process, he pushes process beyond what is expected. While traditional cameras are occasionally employed, the printing may not be. And vice versa. Tintypes, x-rays, zone plates and even less obscure and archaic processes such as Polaroid film are employed. In addition to paper, non-traditional supports such as Mylar are also introduced. Materials and complex optical effects, sometimes incorporating mirrors or mirrored surfaces are the among Whitney’s darkroom tools. Imagery, too, plays a crucial role in combination with the process.
For example, the “Obscure Structures” series is based on architecture that has an unknown, obscure or mysterious function. This includes such structures as an "Anaerobic Digester", A “Wigwam” chip smoker, moving cranes on a dam, amusement park structures and more. The images are made without a proper lens, instead using a "Zone Plate” which is simply a piece of Mylar with a very small bulls-eye printed on it which miraculously produces through diffraction, an ethereal image that is less sharp than even a pinhole image. The images were photographed using a 4x5 camera using negative film, which was then scanned directly without inverting to a positive. This approach creates an otherworldly aura in the image.
Environment is a significant element, too. ‘Light, More Light’ brought large-scale x-ray images of plants into the old palm house of the Vanderbilt Mansion. Suggestive of both the original use of the room and of stained glass windows, the images create a spiritual transcendence.
Whitney received his MFA in photography from the Tyler School of Art and has been an instructor at the International Center for Photography and at the Center for Alternative Photography in New York.
Bryan Whitney Statement
Bryan Whitney is a fine art photographer from New York who specializes in installation work and alternative imaging techniques, including x-rays, 3-D and lens-less photography. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology of Art, holds a Master of Fine Arts from Temple University and was the recipient of a Fulbright lecture grant. Whitney’s work has been exhibited in galleries in the US and internationally and featured in numerous publications. In addition to traveling the globe for special projects for various museums, he teaches photography at the International Center of Photography in New York.
The Obscure Structure series explores haunting and abstract architectural forms that seem to exist in a parallel universe. These enigmatic structures were captured over years of travel throughout America, and reveal a love for obscure vernacular architecture. Each soft and ethereal “day-for-night” image was captured on large format negative film using a “zone plate”, an extremely simple optic similar to a pinhole . The structures are transformed from their common utilitarian function of storing road salt, burning wood chips or treating waste water into a menagerie of mysterious anthropomorphic characters that inhabit a twilight world where imagination and abstraction freely combine.
Bryan Whitney Resumé
1981 B.A. Psychology of Art, University of Michigan
1988 M.F.A. Photography, Tyler School of Art
1992 Fulbright Grant For Lectures on American Photography
Selected Exhibitions, Work & Awards
2015 David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, One Person Show
Speculum Speculorum, EFA Gallery, New York, NY, Group Show
2014 Instructor, International Center of Photography, New York, NY
Photographs In Sudan For Qatar Museums Authority, Aerial and 3D Documentation
of 7C. BC Kushite / Egyptian Temples
Visiting Artist, State University of New York, New Paltz
2013 Radio Flora, Clark Gallery, Niles MI, One Person Show
Artists Residency, Associazione Culturale Civilta De Mediterraneo, Casamasella, Italy
Photography Instructor, Center For Alternative Photography, NY
2012 “Infrastuctures”, Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta, GA, One Person Show
Botanica Miribilis, Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta, CA, Two Person Show
Guest Lecturer, Savannah College of Art and Design
Photography Instructor, Cheyney University
Artist in Residence – 2005 to present, Elizabeth Foundation For The Arts
2011 Photographs for Georgian National Museum, Sponsored by UNESCO Grant
Lecture at Centre at Center For Alternative Photography
Instructor, Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University, (2008-2011)
2010 Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clifton, NJ, Installation in “Botanica” Group Show
Pergamon Museum / Islamic Museum of Art, Berlin Ottoman Interiors from Syria and
OQBO Gallery, Berlin, Paperfile#6, Group Show
2009 “Myriad: The Ten Thousand Things”, Installation, AC Gallery, New York
Photography of Historic Ottoman Interiors from Syria and Lebanon for the
Metropolitan Museum of Art
2008 “Light, More Light”, Installation, Vanderbilt Conservatory, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
“Infrastructures”, Anthony Giordano Gallery, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
2007 “Divine Intentions”, Installation, Power Center, University of Michigan,
2006 “Passing By”, Installation, Montblanc Artists Commission, 57th & Madison, NEW YORK, NY
David Richard Gallery, LLC | 1570 Pacheco Street, A1, Santa Fe, NM 87505 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284
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