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This online exhibition of the works of Brigitte Carnochan recreates one that took place in the ModernBook Gallery, 494 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA in November and December 2006.
The ModernBook Gallery Exhibition
(Nov - Dec 2006)
Born in Germany in 1941, Carnochan came to the United States in 1947, where she fell in love with ballet and the idea of being a dancer. Instead, however, she became a high school and later university teacher and administrator with a love of gardens and gardening. When her interest in photography, dating from the childhood gift of a brownie Hawkeye, culminated in a decision to make photography her career, flowers and dancersí bodies became her natural subjects. Given the steady flow of evocative images from her studio, the turn to photography was worth waiting for.
Carnochan‘s photographs are studies in form and contrast achieved where the perceiving mind intersects the world perceived. The painted black and white photographs of her flowers and nudes contain the colors of nature reimagined through the mind‘s eye: black and white photographs are an inanimate world that the artist then animates.
Artist‘s Statement on Painted Images
"Deciding when to paint an image is intuitive for meósome images lend themselves to the transformations of oil paint and others donít. I use all kinds of oil paints, not just "photo oils," to create imagesóand rely on my memory and imagination more than reality. Thereís a magic for me in applying the paints over the photographic imageómoving them around, layering them, deepening the shadows and opening the highlights until the image I saw in my mindís eye when I made the photograph is finally realized in the image on my desk.
I use cotton swabs of varying sizes instead of brushes to apply paint and remove bits of it with an art eraser to create highlights and other effects. I donít use colored pencil because I find it too fugitive. Painting on photographs is an old tradition, and I like to think I put a modern spin on it.
I use either a medium format (Hasselblad) or view camera (4x5 Sinar) and Tri-X film, which I develop in my darkroom. I make the prints on Agfa paper, which now, alas, has been discontinued. I have stock-piled several hundred sheets on my darkroom shelves, but since the longevity of paper is only a couple years, I am anxious to find a suitable replacement paper."
Brigitte Carnochan (September 2006)