DPP Home Profiles Andy Katz: Oenophilia

Monday, August 10, 2009

Andy Katz: Oenophilia

With his deep-rooted connection to wine country and the vineyard lifestyle, Andy Katz has staked out a successful niche capturing all aspects of these romanticized and idyllic locales

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Gulls flock in Chile’s wine country near Patagonia.
The motive isn’t just artistic control, but also entrepreneurial. Katz makes “a good portion” of his living selling his photographs through galleries (including through galleries he owns in Colorado and in California) and to the public through his website, www.andykatzphotography.com. Katz offers limited-edition prints from 11x14 up to 40x60 inches in size on archival canvas media. Taking ownership of the process is an investment in himself, although he says, “When I add up all my mistakes and the wasted paper and ink, sometimes I wonder.”

If the archival life of inkjet has won over his clients, it’s the advancements in color management that have heartened Katz. The Z3100’s internal calibration system (powered by X-Rite) takes “a lot of the work out of color management,” says Katz. “I set it and then go out for a cup of coffee or, depending on the time, a glass of wine, while it calibrates. The great thing about digital is that you know it will always get better. You have that digital negative and you know, in five years, you’ll get an even better print.”

When he’s not traveling, Katz typically can be found in the studio adjacent to his home, printing. “I’ll be printing four days a week,” he says. The genesis of his one-man show “Mixed Emotions” at the Mumm Napa Gallery in California in 2007 is indicative of Katz’s often frenetic pace. “I was in the airport waiting to board a plane for India when the gallery called and asked me to put on the show.”

Mumm is home to a permanent collection of Ansel Adams photography, “the kind of gallery you dream about,” says Katz, so saying “yes” was a no-brainer. But the timing was tight, with just three weeks between his return from India to the delivery of 42 40x50-inch framed canvas prints. The exhibit, like Katz’s portfolio, encompassed far more than his wine work. It included photos from his college years up to images he had just captured in India.

His recently completed work in India is another break from the vineyard. “When I was done in New Zealand, I thought I’d do a portrait book. There’s no better place to photograph people than India,” says Katz. That, too, will soon appear in a book, though Katz is still debating whether to self-publish it, as “it’s massive.” He’s also preparing a book of his nudes and a new edition of Tuscany (this time under his imprimatur).

Though he has frequently sought to push himself beyond the familiar, Katz knows he’ll return to the work that he loves, in wine country. “Those photos evoke an emotion,” he says. “They make people happy.”

We can all drink to that.

To see more of Andy Katz’s photography, visit www.andykatzphotography.com.


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