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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

GARY THOMPSON

GARY THOMPSON

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Artist Work

Pitch
2008
Digital composited image/Silver print
18 X 23.5 inches
Borderline
2008
Digital composited image/Silver print
18 X 23.5 inches
Hopeful
2008
Digital composited image/Silver print
18 X 23.5 inches
Consideration
2008
Digital composited image/Silver print
18 X 23.5 inches
Spin (II)
2009
Digital composited image/Silver print
18 X 23.5 inches
Declaration
2007
Digital composited image/Silver print
18 X 23.5 inches

Artist Information

County
Baltimore County
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)
2012

Artist Statement

For the last few years, I have constructed black-and-white photographs that seek to make connections between the external world and emotional states. With this notion in mind, the pictures try to convey a sense of the wonder of a child sitting in the back seat of their parents’ car, being carried down a dark road at night and looking at the passing landscape, vision obstructed by baggage and rain, imagination making up for what cannot be seen. Using 35 mm black-and-white film, I make long exposures at night or in low light and try to enhance the atmosphere thus obtained with other effects made possible by image-editing software, after digitizing the images with a film scanner (digitization making the information on the negative malleable). I composite the images, then have a 4 × 5-inch black-and-white negative output by a digital photography laboratory. I can then make prints from the negative in my darkroom on standard silver gelatin paper. My strategy for construction of the images involves placing the same or similar figures in different places in the scene. I make sure that the lighting feels consistent and the grain structure appears to be the same across the multiplicity of different images used to construct one picture. As a result of this activity, the images take on notions of the self and its many variations; the opposition or synthesis of separate forces, both within and without. I use what I understand to be the structure of dreams: that is, I do not report my particular dreams, but try to tap into an unconscious sense of the familiar anticipating something significant or uncanny; a sense of anxiety about what constitutes reality.