-artist statement

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ARTIST STATEMENT

Since the time I worked in Japan in the early 1990s, I have been fascinated by the clarity, simplicity, reduction, and omnipresent influence of nature in traditional Japanese culture, in which a distinct sense of beauty is revealed. I learned the technique of sumi-e, or Japanese inkwash painting, which sharpened my perception for the composition of color and form. And in the aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi I discovered beauty as the acceptance of transience, imperfection, and incompleteness. 

I am interested in the fleeting nature of flowers as a metaphor. My photographic portraits fathom the essence and concealed structures of any living organism. 

Whereas I initially worked with a Hasselblad, I have used a digital camera since 2013. My otherwise essentially analog practice consists of a lengthy and meticulous process of preparing each flower for the moment of the photograph. The studio is rather an experimental laboratory dedicated to this process than a photographic studio. Following further specific interventions on my fragile subjects, I set up the camera in natural light, meticulously reflect all the shadows out, and shoot a staged instant of evanescent beauty. My ongoing series of dye transfer or archival pigment prints are mostly square in format. In the photographs, I seek to achieve painterly quality and extreme sharpness. Only the experience of the original print can communicate the direct beauty of imperfection.