Monday, April 28, 2008
Vision To Visuals: A Traditionalist's View
Going digital doesn't mean ditching your aesthetics
Many of the artists and commercial clients who work with me often present me with fresh creative challenges, requiring the application of old technologies in new ways. More often than not, however, it's the discovery and application of new scanning and printing technologies that helps them communicate in ways they didn't think possible. In the end, though, I often remind myself that it has nothing to do with the technology. In the end, everything that I do stems from my simple love of and passion for the art of photography—converting motion into a frozen, static image in the hopes of creating a compelling visual record that proves to everyone that the experience was indeed real.
Photographer Roberto Dutesco has the ability to do just that. His latest series on the horses of Sable Island, just off of Nova Scotia, proves the point by conveying the beauty and strength of these animals. Originally called Isola della Rena by France in 1550, Sable Island was the site of more than 275 shipwrecks since the early 17th century. Of these, the only known survivors were the horses. They're referred to now as the Wild Horses of Sable Island, the only terrestrial mammals on the island.
I've seen both Roberto's work and sensibility grow and mature over the past 15 years this artist has been working with us. We take pleasure here at Duggal in establishing and maintaining relationships with our clients and, in a sense, pride in watching one of our own grow and mature into a compelling visual artist.
Roberto shared with me recently that “the greatest fortune for a photographer is the ability to be aware, to see, to observe, to admire and to capture. It's equally important to see with your own eyes and to be aware—that's the most incredible thing of all.”
Roberto's relationship with us began in the early 1990s when he returned from Sable Island. “At the time, I was in touch with Dave Duggal, and he suggested that we print some of my photographs on aluminum,” he recalls.
Roberto still prefers film and silver gelatin prints for his fine-art work, but we took the liberty of introducing him to some new digital printing techniques. “Those metallic prints are still hanging in their offices today,” he says. “It was more of an experiment and an exchange, really. We printed a few images for Duggal and a few for me to see how it works and how much we would like them. I had a 5,000-square-foot loft on 34th Street in New York City at the time, and I took advantage of that by exhibiting the work. It was my very first show, 7 Prints, in 1995.”
Roberto had hoped that his first show would have employed more traditional printing techniques, but he was open to the change: “My first show wasn't done the old way with silver gelatin prints, but through a transformation of the negative, scanned and further transformed via a new printing technology on metallic aluminum with a transparent overlay. The technology heralded the beginning of a new era.”
Roberto still likes “silver gelatin prints, what I refer to as the old-style type of printing,” but understands that there are limits. “I'm somewhat limited to a 4x6-foot maximum size with silver gelatin prints,” he says. “As such, I've started to look for other ways of printing large chromogenic prints, metallic prints and Fujiflexes, to name a few. Mr. Duggal is curious enough to explore many printing mediums and share his curiosities and new finds with me.”
My associate Jerry Ibaran has been working exclusively with Roberto for more than 10 years. He describes Jerry as “a wonderful individual whom I've known for more than 10 years. He's the guy whom I deal with directly in regards to the orders that I make.”