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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blind Photographers

"I have a private gallery, but, unfortunately, I am the only one who can visit it. Others can enter by means of my photographs, but they do not see the originals, just the reproductions." Evgen Bavcar

Blind Photography is interesting because it highlights whether a piece of artwork's accomplishment is based upon merely the aesthetic product or the experience of making that artwork. Any fool with a digital camera, autofocus, and perhaps a slight aperture adjustment are making bland photographs. So does the value and artistic appeal of these photographers increase because they are "blind"?

This evening, I ran across an intriguing show on HBO entitled:
Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photography

It featured three artists, but I was mainly drawn to the work of Pete Eckert. Having lost his eyesight, he now shoots his subjects without any sight or visual cues. As he described in the episode, to receive guidance from the sighted world would erode his desired outcome--giving an entry of sighted people into blindness. His methodology seemed to very particular has he would light meter from outside the studio, and slowly meter his way into his shoot, thereby giving him a frame of reference (full sunlight). Then he uses flashlights, colored paper, lasers, and candles to cause different burns in the negative.


My apologies to those who are uncomfortable with the naked form in artwork, but I find his use of nude models particularly interesting in light (pun not intended) of him being blind. In a way he is not aware of the allure of the naked form, and by contrasting it with the neon light, it seems to cause this tension where the eye is taken away from what it would be naturally drawn to.

Check out this article in Time and this photogallery.

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