Archive for October, 2010

Artist Feature: Sébastien Mamy

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Delicate Arch by Sebastien Mamy

I was in the third part of my 5-part U.S. tour, road tripping from L.A. to San Francisco. I had been more than two weeks on the road, and the trip was getting harder, since the temperature in Utah at the begining of March can be under 30° during the night. I decided to rest two days in the small town of Moab, famous to be between Canyonland and Arches national park, paradises for photographers. The very day the picture was shot, the wind was very strong, it was nearly impossible to stand at Delicate Arch, therefore, impossible to shoot it with a tripod. So I decided to find another angle to shoot the arch, and I finally found one, from the Delicate Arch View Point, where the wind was weaker, and which gave a unusual view of the arch.

Sebastien Mamy is a Paris based landscape and nature photographer. He started in 2003 and since works for magazines, travel agencies and organizations. Most of his work is related to landscape photography, a way for him to share his passion for nature. Now, some of his works are also available in limited edition art prints, both in coloured and black and white editions. You can see more of his work on his website.

Artist Interview: Danielle Baudassi

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The tenth and final winner in our 2010 Portfolio Project is Danielle Baudassi. Her work draws inspiration from a variety of sources: landscapes, movies, and contemporary culture. Her winning image, Afternoon Fog, City Horizon, is a spectral landscape that tantalizes the viewer with hints of resolution, without ever giving in to the need for definition.
Afternoon Fog, City Horizon, by Danielle Baudassi

  • Alright first, let me thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk to me. I greatly appreciate it. I guess the best place to start is with the picture chosen in the Portfolio Project. Can you tell me a little bit about the story behind it?
  • As a sort of visionary artist I was particularly astounded by the fog that encapsulated the mountain town where I took the image. The 50 ISO film I had loaded in my 35 mm camera was perfect for this fog event. There is something spiritual about this photo and also something very un-natural. This fog was not eerie to me but it was proof of something that I could not put words to. It was proof that even someone like myself could come upon a great opportunity by chance. I was so lucky that the film turned out in the processing. I printed a series of about 5 photographs on fiber paper, the dust and particles were next to impossible to clean off the negatives and the prints have this vintage look to them. I cannot describe the feeling of being in the high country in the Rocky Mountains but there is an element of danger and an element of serenity that is so often captured by artists in that region. There is also something special about the fog in the mountains especially for someone who is not originally from that region. The darkest black in this print is a outcropping rock on the right of the image. The eye moves around the image the entire image and there is no way that I will ever let anyone tell me that this photograph is eerie or scary or anything like that.
  • I can see that. Your photographs tend to deal a lot with those sort of intangible feelings that are hard to put into words. Can you say something about how you find photos like that, and how you know when you see one?
  • It is really a performance trying to keep people invested in a sort of visionary scavenger hunt for that which appeals to the eye and or the perception of vision. There is an element of imagination where the photographer is pretending or believing that they can effect how the image is precieved or what in the photograph is outstanding. And the artists can do that in using the equipment that they have access to and also using the environment that they have access to nonetheless to actually hold an audience is much more difficult. I suppose where I am actually investing in the opportunities and then when I have the funds or access to a place where I know there is a particular profile I have a camera ready to go. So when I know I can cover my tracks I will go to someplace and that seems to be when the best pictures are taken. Is when I am on a sort of cloud nine and no one is telling me that I cannot perform as a gatekeeper or that I cannot have access to this or that part of the country. I guess it is a fine line that one can feel without being sentient. So there is a sense of risk involved. It is really important to embrace what life gives one without accepting that which is unforgiveable.
  • So the act of creating art is sort of passive receptivity, then? Leaving yourself open to what is presented?
  • I suppose in some way an artistic vision can be weathered and then expressed. I think a lot of people can be hurt by art unless the artist is really going to ground zero every time they are creating it. People interact with other people on a daily basis and the smallest perception can change how one views the world for the rest of their life. So as the artist who is taking ultimate responsibilty for their art financially and ethically it is important to be able to say with assurance that this is what the piece means and yes it is a righteous piece of art. Wouldn’t you like it hanging on your wall? I would have to understand the question further such as what is the opposite of passive and what is being received. No artist wants to be forced to live an inner life unless that is what they want to live. I think a lot of times artists are going to be call crazy or are going to be scapegoated unless they find a way to stand up for what they are producing. That is a challenge. My person can be both passive and aggressive and I think some of my art has been offensive in the past but no one has ever said this to me. I think people tend to use the word beauty and gentle and passive for a lot of my work but there are some innuendos expressed as well when art in general is discussed.
  • Interesting. Can you point to any other artists or styles that you think of as directly influencing your philosophy, aesthetic, and work?
  • I cannot really say all of my influences but one of my favorite artist of all time is Garbor Peterdi. Of more recent interests is Alan Lee, Peter Jackson, Takashi Murakami, Carrie Mae Weems, and I really find Michelangelo to be influencial. Some of the styles that I can identify are superflat, otaku, abstract, realism. Now that I am back on the East Coast I often find myself musing about Lady Gaga…
  • What about Lady Gaga?
  • I have heard this and that about Lady Gaga and her whole monster note is really questionable. The media and her fans are really giving her the benefit of doubt. I mean who doesn’t love monsters, I am just questioning that she has become the sort of queen of monsterous things. Is she not sort of living on the dole of monsterous things? Are not monsterous things the last place one wants to rest their head on? And who or what are these monsters? Are they people, are the frankensteins across the world, are they bad people, are they good people, are they demons or spiritual beings? Thoughts, ideas what are they? Because I am not sure that I know simply because I have no information to go off of other than the Internet videos, Youtube, TV interviews, and gossip.
  • Very interesting, and the first time Lady Gaga has made an appearance on our blog! So one more question. How do you see yourself carrying on from here? What are your goals with your art now, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
  • Well, I can say winning this contest really was exciting and motivating. I read my name on the list of winners and I raised my arms and said “Yes!”. So I think I will go back to nature and take some more photographs. I will carry on my best in any career. Hopefully some day I will win an Oscar like the concept artist for the Lord of the Rings. I would really like to see my art in more places online like Duckrabbit Digital. My art is very soon probably going to be captain of a very important ship.
  • Excellent. Well, thank you Danielle for taking the time to talk. Congratulations on being selected, and all the best luck for your future endeavors.
  • Thanks for chatting with me. And please say hello to New York for me. Thanks for your time.

Expansion

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Duckrabbit Digital is expanding. We still have our humble studio, where we will continue to print the same high-quality black-and-white images. Our focus and passion is (and always will be) with black-and-white photography. However, we recognized that many of you shoot in both b&w and color. So, we’ve established a relationship with a printing shop in New York in order to offer you a one-stop printing service. Now, you can order your color prints and your black-and-white prints from us. We’ll print the b&w, and Beth Schiffer and Co. will print the color. In addition to substantial discounts, you’ll only pay once, deal just with us, and get your prints delivered in the same package.

We visited and talked to a number of different companies in New York, and were impressed with the small and personal operation that Beth runs. In addition, she has some top-notch equipment. The processor that runs the color images is a clever mix between old and new. It uses three different color lasers to expose photographic paper, then uses traditional darkroom chemicals to develop and stabilize the image. The result is, in a word, stunning.

In addition, we’ve also introduced negative scanning into our repertoire, and within the next few days we’ll be introducing a new ordering form which allows you to upload your images directly from the server (meaning no more FTP hassle), amped up our Facebook page to allow our customers to add their photos to our steam (an thus reach more people), and also added the ability for customers to leave reviews for us on Facebook.

Thank you all for your continued support. It means a lot to us to have such a passionate group of people so dedicated to our printing. The amazing talent we encounter is what makes running an artisan company 100% worthwhile. So, please, try out our new services. Below you’ll find a coupon good for the next week, and we look forward to seeing your new work.