In December, the month of giving, we are highlighting our talented gallery artists who give us the gift of their work. It is their insights that inspire us, help us grow, challenge us and surround us with inspiration.
There have been many photographic projects that toy with the expectation of reality that has come with the medium of photography since its earliest days. There are few so visually (and literally) delicious as those in a new series by gallery artist Charles Grogg called Crema.
Dealing in black, white, and the occasional burnt umber or red has been this artist’s breadbox up until now. With Crema, Charles ventures into dreamy blues that get our imaginations going. Are these a new gas giant planet, a cool-color cousin of Saturn? Are they the wonder of life spreading across a petri dish? These cosmic interpretations are more amusing once we learn that they are something as quotidian as the artist’s morning cup of joe.
Charles explains his process:
“I used an iPhone to make images of crema—the rich foam that forms on my morning espresso—in the summer morning light. These relatively uninteresting experiments in isolating the patterns in the foam as it dissipates became much more interesting in the process of making negatives of the images for platinum printing.
The immediate and physically simple transition from positive to negative colors rendered haunting possibilities—the universe unfolding like cells on a slide, or impossible planets brimming with the promise of sustainable life. In my art practice, I am most interested in the fundamental rejection of the apparent by photographs, in the idea that pictures hold their meaning in abeyance, the way the unconscious— to a trained and curious mind—is clearly visible in our actions but otherwise elusive. In this sense, even the apparent accidental arrival at meaning in the pictures seems destined, as if I had been after these images without understanding them.
Though I made slight adjustments to the digital images as I would have analog images in a darkroom, I left them almost entirely without affect. The blue in these images, for example, is the natural negative of the beige/brown color of the crema, though brown coffee has nothing to do with these pictures. They come instead from processes, not from things.”
About the artist
Charles Grogg (b.1966, Gary, Indiana) is an American contemporary artist and photographer. He currently resides in southern California where he produces fractured photographic images printed in silver and sewn through or in platinum and palladium on handmade Japanese washi which are restitched into whole images and frequently feature tethers, sutures or other three dimensional productions. The resulting images focus on issues of growth and restraint, hesitation and power.
Grogg’s recent work emerges from the early Vik Muniz, from Robert Fichter, Thomas Barrow, and Andy Warhol’s sewn multiples, as well as his dedication to cross-disciplinary modalities.
His images have been shown in galleries internationally and published widely in fine art photography periodicals.
Crema is available in editions of 10. Prints are 16×20 inches. $850.
For more information or to see a portfolio of images contact the gallery for more information