Category: Photography

Sweet Song of Harlem

By Carley Townsend and Beatrice Antonie Martino

Finnish photographer Jaakko Heikkilä doesn’t travel – he stays. Sometimes, he lingers long enough that you’ll fall asleep to the low hypnotic hum of the camera. At least, that’s what happened when Heikkilä photographed Jill, normally lively and hyperactive, suddenly still, quiet, untroubled. With a panoramic camera in hand, each shot takes a full minute, if not more, to develop, imposing a necessary stillness on each moment – a collection of fleeting eternities. Coaxed by a rhythmic repetition of “Lie down” – Click – “Rest your eyes” – buzz – “be still”– silence, Jill turns posing into repose. Heikkilä elicits a sense of magic as focus dances from detail to detail. Time stops, and the stillness deepens the relationship between viewer and subject. 

Jill in Her Living Room, 2003

I have been sitting a lot in kitchens with people, when nothing happens. Total silence. I like to meet people in that silence. It is more intensive, more intimate. I can come closer when nothing else is happening around. That sense of silence, that sense of slowness, it is the same as the photograph. The panoramic lens is rolling like that, silent, slowly. One image taking one minute.

We live in a world where everything is always moving, moving, moving. Everyone is racing to be better than the next. In a society where life is all about motion and distraction, silence and emptiness are revolutionary, radical acts. What does it mean to simply be

Heikkilä has mastered the act of radical stillness, connecting to the inherent beauty, integrity, and inner magic of the other – sitting opposite his camera lens. The subjects of Heikkilä’s photographs live whole and multifaceted lives with or without us – we are simply invited to linger … Click here to read more

Matt Roe

Artist Q&A with Matt Roe

Matt Roe has been showing international for over 20 years in galleries, art festivals, and digitally. The world has changed since he started creating a long time ago along with reproduction techniques, technology has also fused its way into our general living space. This same process of human evolution has pushed him in that direction when it comes to art and his creative process. Roe has always had a passion for pushing the bounds of creative talent whether it be framing artwork, digital photography, or with abstract works in which he tries to push the bounds of each technique in their own regard.

Every creative path has advanced on its own including his passion for photography and creating digital artwork. The artist discovered a process where a photo is fused onto high gloss aluminum using attributes from the metal to highlight the details of the digital artwork, much the depth of brushwork with paint. This style comes to life in different lighting and produces a life of its own well beyond what the original photograph looked like.

“Driftwood Debris”, digital photography fused onto high gloss aluminum , 20 x 28 in | 51 x 71 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

For me it’s not all about one artist at all. I’ve been influenced by many different artists through many different times in life. In my early days of creating, it was Dali, Dr Seuss, and Van Gogh. Dali was for his symbolism, Dr. Seuss for creating a whole world from what he saw in his everyday existence, and Van Gogh for his use of texture and color. Today I would say the street artists that make sociological commentaries in their work in all forms of creating, and Warhol for his … Click here to read more

Dan McCormack

Artist Q&A with Dan McCormack

Dan McCormack is a New York-based photographer who uses traditional 8 x 10 black-and-white film in a homemade oatmeal-box pinhole camera to create wide-angle distortions with the cylindrical focal plane. There is a sense of discovery and joy in his process, as the resulting images are unpredictable and surprising. The familiar becomes unfamiliar, the ordinary extraordinary. By then replacing the black-and-white values with subtle hues through successive pulling of curves in Photoshop, he interacts with and interprets the image. The “Nude at Home” is a subset of a larger pinhole-camera project that begun in 1998. In this series, he photographs the model nude in her own home, apartment, or studio, surrounded by her possessions for two-minute exposures. A collaboration between model and photographer, the images attempt to reveal an intimate portrait of the subject. He currently heads the photography program at Marist College.

“Caitlin_F_4-26-15–11AB”,  pinhole camera image, 23 x 20 in | 58 x 51 cm, 2015

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Photographer Aaron Siskind is my favorite artist of all time. He was my basic photographer teacher, but more importantly he showed me what a personal vision is all about. He also gave me the sense to trust myself. His work speaks to an audience.

How did you become a professional artist?

I was never concerned about being an artist. I was concerned about making better photographs. The more and more that I worked at making more and more successful images I looked back and saw that I had become an artist.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

When I was a student, I went to every photography exhibition in a gallery or museum in Chicago where I was studying. I went to every library that I could get … Click here to read more