Bob Cornelis Statement


Artist Statement
Our reality is constantly being created by our vision.

Photography changes the way I see, and so allows me to experience a different and more compelling world. As I think about taking a photograph, I am aware of its unique perspective on the subject that could be seen in many other ways. By seeing it this way, I move my world in a singular and personal direction. My work often is non-representational, of subjects I design and construct. Since I populate this fabricated world it, too, becomes a means of personal expression.

Taking the picture is an important part of the creative act, though it is only the first of the choices to be made. How the image is presented to the world is another critical opportunity to refine and express my personal vision.

So much of photography in the 21st century has been dematerialized, confined to the uniform rectangle of computer screens. I feel my photographs can be brought to life when presented through the more personally expressive medium of the print. I choose to create handmade prints using methods of the early days of photography that infuse the work with a greater sense of presence and emotion. Through the use of platinum/palladium, gum bichromate, cyanotype and other 19th century processes, I am able to engage the senses of the viewer in a way that more ably reveals my individual vision.

My prints often find their way into handmade books and portfolio boxes, a wonderful and intimate way to experience them. Holding in your hand a one-of-a-kind book bound in handmade papers, containing handset letterpress and traditional prints, is a profoundly different experience than seeing a photograph on a screen. The veil of digital uniformity is stripped away, allowing a more direct encounter with the work, simultaneously revealing a bit more about me to the viewer.

This intersection of personal craft and vision is my way of creating and sharing the world as I see it.


 
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