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Huntington Witherill
Photographic abstractions

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that a single photograph has the ability to elicit from its viewer, a variety of visual conclusions. Abstracting images for their potential to show not only what was actually photographed, but also to communicate what else the photograph might actually represent – vis-à-vis an array of misleading or metaphorically based visual clues– serves to encourage curiosity and uncertainty in the mind of the viewer. And of course curiosity and uncertainty are vital in any search for truth. Visual abstractions can also serve to communicate a wealth of information about the nature of the object being photographed, the nature of the photographer and indeed, the nature of the viewer, as well.
Inspiration gained through the work and philosophical approaches of Alfred Stieglitz and Minor White (among others) together with an educational background in two-dimensional design, have each served to help influence my abstract work over the years. And though the work has progressively changed in terms of its subject matter, my approach toward formulating photographic abstractions has remained relatively unchanged.
The old adage: "less is more" rings true. Often times, including and depicting only the most basic visual information about the object being photographed will serve to supply more intimate and direct evidence of that object’s true nature than can be discerned by viewing the entirety of the scene. Eliminating and/or disguising the most recognizable visual clues and using symbolism and visual metaphor to represent the more cohesive whole, will often lead the viewer to speculate as to the true nature of that which is being depicted. And, as is the nature of any unsolved riddle, the viewer is then compelled to become a direct participant in the final solution to the puzzle.
Huntington Witherill (2006) 



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