Artist StatementMy earliest attempts at photography as a youngster gravitated towards the everyday: random storefronts and taverns, gas stations and garages. As my skills improved in my adolescence, my vision wandered into a combination of non-cohesive pictorialist and surrealist regions that in the end had no appeal. My education exposed me to the works of Atget, Evans, and others and quickly steered me back to where I began. When I mastered the view camera at age 19 I found the almost perfect tool to complement the directness of my early images, and returned to a realism-based vision. Since that time I have prodigiously worked at documenting what I term the American Vernacular: things that seem mundane or commonplace to others yet define our existence. Large format view cameras with color transparency medium are utilized, both for total image control and because they facilitate a kind of slower way of seeing that is a hallmark of my work.
Education: BS Photography, 1975, Rochester Institute of Technology D. B. Stovall, a Washington, DC area native, bought his first camera at age 10 – a Rosko purchased for 88 cents at Murphy’s Five and Dime. Quickly moving on to various Instamatics, an old Leica D, and finally Japanese 35mm SLRs, Stovall explored various aspects of black and white photography, becoming adept at all kinds of darkroom work by the time he entered high school. Stovall was introduced to the view camera at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the early 1970s and eventually moved on to large format color transparency in a realism-based vision, which he still practices today.
Since there were few good methods of getting high quality archival prints from transparencies during this time, Stovall did not pursue exhibition opportunities and eventually stopped making images entirely for a fairly long period. He returned to the view camera in the mid 2000s and was able to make prints closely matching the produced transparencies using modern computer and digital printer technology. Stovall started entering juried exhibitions at the beginning of 2008 and since then has been in over 100 juried group and solo shows. The jurors that have selected his work are curators and art professionals from institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, Corcoran Museum of Art, NY Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco MOMA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many other prestigious venues. Stovall continues to make images and pursue exhibition opportunities.