Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Silver, Carbon, and Brass: Press Release

For Immediate Release

Silver, Carbon and Brass: The Steampunk Photography of RA Friedman

Ven and Vaida Art and Jewelry, 18. S. 3rd St. Phila., PA  19106

Opening: Friday, Sept. 7, 6-10 pm Artist’s Talk: Tuesday, Sept 11, 7-10 pm

Sign up for the shoot at The Rotunda is both of the above days.

Steampunk: 1.Victorian science fiction, a speculative world where the Steam Age coexists with the future. 2. Art, craft, costume and form that arise out of this idea, often incorporating DIY technology, mechanical contrivances, and the turning of design structure inside-out. 3. An individual involved with Steampunk culture.

In a show of 29 prints, RA Friedman, working in a Steampunk vein, captures a collection of time-travelers, nudes, nocturnal denizens and the as-yet-to-be-labeled. "Silver, Carbon and Brass" consists of two bodies of work. The first is from various retro and Steampunk events with his Tsirkus Fotografika, a mobile photo booth project started in '08. The other is studio nudes, often complex, multi-figure pieces done with a camera having only a small hole for a lens.
Shooting instant film w/a vintage camera, Friedman saves the paper negatives then lets them age and dry out. They are then scanned in order to initiate the painstaking work of digitally restoring the image. Though all photos are formal arrangements, mummery gives way much like in early 20th century German Expressionist Art. At the crossroads of photography, painting and printmaking, the viewer’s conceptions of a camera-made image are challenged. As an odd light emerges from deep velvety tones, forms appear and dissolve and time and space are transported to a rich dreamlike realm.
Those attending the opening night reception or the artist’s talk will have a chance to become part of the show. "The Big Nude Pinhole Shoot at The Rotunda" is scheduled for the evening of Mon. Sept. 17th as part of Philadelphia Fringe. Sign up is through Ven & Vaida only. Participants will pay a $20 fee and help create a clothes-free tableau which Friedman will photograph. Each person will receive a signed and limited edition archival print, upon its completion, via US Mail.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Rekindling a Banked Fire: Figurative Pinhole Photos

Between other kinds of figurative experiments, studio work, and much street photography, (much of it still under wraps) was it really over year since I had done any pinhole work? Yes. I had hoped to do the first big multi-figure pinhole project last September or November at the latest, but things got delayed in terms of getting a space. With the big shoot coming up Sept. 17th at the Rotunda in Philadelphia, I didn’t want to re-start cold. I knew I should not only shake down the equipment and materials, but also get back in the groove and reconnect; align this process with my current ideas and vision.

I had two models work with me in the last three weeks. I continue to keep the camera spiked in the same position, being careful not to disturb it, so that all the shots are from an identical station point, allowing me to combine images. For the moment, I have in process, the two pieces here, that, if they are like the last batch, will take weeks into months to resolve to my satisfaction, although I can already tell they will go faster due to the learning curve. I will proof print, work and rework them until I feel they are “there.” These two photos were done on 4x5 3000 ISO Fuji Instant film, which, unfortunately, is now out of production. I have thirty sheets remaining for the Fringe shoot, but I hope I can find another box or two for sale at reasonable price. Luckily, the smaller format 3000 speed film is still around and combining smaller format shots with these is a distinct possibility.