Tag Archives: abstract

Whispered Secrets about “Infinity Pool”

Stepping back into the realm of black and white photography this week, we present our new work Infinity Pool.   Infinity pools are a unique type of water pool designed to enhance the mirage that the water in the pool goes on forever.

Indeed, it was this very mirage that inspired the beginning of this work. As I looked down the length of the pool I noticed to my delight that the texture of the turbulent lake behind the pool was a stark contrast to the smooth almost waveless pool. Also, the scene provided me yet with another layer of excitement by providing a third visual contrast of the lake lapping against the far shoreline.

However, it was only when I started the process of photographic development that yet another stunning aspect of the scene burst forth. I had noticed the reflection  off of the pool in the original photograph, but with the blue hues of the pool water compared to the lake behind it the sheer drama of the light was lost.

Infinity PoolIt was only by enhancing the black and white tones did I discover the wonder of the true picture. The reflection struck me the most.  So, as the intensity in the scene increased outwards to the background, the texture and brightness of the light led my hand in choosing the overall development of the work.

I present Infinity Pool as an example that sometimes the true beauty of the photograph is only discovered in the post-production handling of a scene.

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Modern Art Uncovers The Deceptive Practices of CIA

What if you found that someone used your life’s work, all those endless hours tirelessly sacrificed in the name of your occupation,to represent what it wasn’t originally meant to say? What would you do?   Would you merely shrug your shoulders? Or, protest as loudly as you could?   Worse, what if you never knew it happened?

It has happened. Mark Rothko was an artist in the same way vein as Jackson Pollack and the other great contemporaries. He was an artist in every sense of the world. He once proclaimed:

“I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. And the fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions . . . The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationship, then you miss the point.” ― Mark Rothko


But how bitter would he be today if he learned that his

This image is of a drawing, painting, print, or other two-dimensional work of art. It is believed that the use of low-resolution images of works of art for critical commentary on the work in question, the artistic genre or technique of the work of art or the school to which the artist belongs qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.

legacy is not the art that he loved creating so much? What if he had learned his art was a weapon of the Cold War?

According to an article in the Independent, in the 1950’s this is exactly what happened to him.   Rothko was a Jewish immigrant from Russia who became an important artist in the primitive style of art. Being a Russian living in America during in the 1950’s era of McCarthyism was not easy. But, being a popular artist made him the perfect target for the CIA.

The CIA created several shadow art foundations and worked with many of the wealthiest elitists in the country to make sure that art from the likes of Jason Pollack and Mark Rothko was not only seen but were to become incredibly famous.   Why? According to Saunders:

 “Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.”


“Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylized and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.”

In an Saunders’s interview with Tom Braden, first chief of the CIA’s International Organisations Division he said :

“We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War.”


There is little doubt that painters like Pollack or Rothko would still be famous names even without the help of the CIA.  Help the artists never knew they were receiving. But there is strong sign that perhaps there Abstract Expression style may not have been as popular for as long as it’s been.

Being an artist, this whole subject has me wondering. When I look at my art, What if…?  Nah….

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Abstract Photography: Waves Thru Time

This week I’ve discovered that inner muse for the realm of abstract art.  As a photographer/artist, I feel that the use of abstract photography is often overlooked in the artistic world.

Consider that when you take a picture with your camera you want the subject of the picture to have a crystal clear focus. It is usually touted that an essential need for a great picture is a focused subject, proper lighting, and some form of action.  Obviously your lists of what makes up a good picture varies depending on your experience, your equipment and your artistic need.  Yet, these items remain essential for memorable photographs.

It should also come as no surprise that these essential items are also part of good art.   But let’s take a step further back and explore how abstract art breaks those important rules.

The abstract style in art and the ideal abstract form of photography begin with the same general goals.  Artists will sacrifice the subject clarity to evoke a sense of emotion. This clarity is either in the form of focus or perhaps even identification that feeds this sacrifice.  However, it’s the emotion that the work brings to the viewer that matters.   What makes this a joy and a nervous endeavor for the artist working with abstraction is the hope that the viewer of the piece will feel an emotional response to the work also.

Photography produces a unique form of abstract art.  Most pieces of abstract art you discover in a museum are paintings or sculptures. The artist renders or carves according to their whim to transform the blank canvas or rock into a quasi-identifiable or non-identifiable work.  Remember though, the need of the artist is to evoke the emotion the artist wants to discuss.  But with photography, the trick is to create a similar experience with something that is real and actually exists.

Such is the case with our new abstract work Waves Thru TimeThis work is a time-lapsed exposure of waves on a shoreline during a sunset.   Hidden throughout the work are subtle hints of pinks and oranges that highlight reflections the setting sun on the blue waters.

The picture is a unique look at the constant motion of waves and the subtle variations of blues, whites, pinks, and oranges, of a sunset over time.  A calming pattern of colors meant to dance across the picture in various highs and lows.

I hope you enjoyed this piece and would like to leave a comment below.

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Discover other works in our collection at http://aa-photographic-arts.artistwebsites.com/index.html.



Setting Quiet: Use of Abstract Photography


Setting Quiet is a new piece that I created on a whim.  I’ve made abstract art using a camera before with some success.  Unfortunately, the colors and the focus are often unusable.


When a piece does work, it usually falls within the realm of a macro photographic form.  This transpires to where the subject is so closely focused and cropped it becomes abstract in its own right.


Consider that abstraction in photography is about presenting an image and having it engineered in such a way as to evoke a viewer’s response without necessarily being able to guess what the subject of the picture was.  Normally, having a close focus or a very narrow aperture accomplishes this using photographic equipment.


But that is just part of the story of Setting Quiet, I was curious about what would happen if we dared to open the rule book and go rogue.  So, I generated an image that hyper focuses the subject in the opposite than normal way.  The result is Setting Quiet.


In this particular photographic work of art, the colors inspire you to relax.  Relaxation and reflection are the mission behind this photographic work.  It identifies with that time of the day that inspires us to take a step back, ignore our stresses for the day, and experience now.  The blurred lines of the central circle alter your perception of light to dark hues while satisfying any need for recognizable form.


While we cherish the brightness of the whites and purples, we slowly descend into a realm of phantasmal blues and darker hues.  A relaxing commentary meant to nurture enjoyment of the day as we spend it.

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Discover other works in our collection at http://aa-photographic-arts.artistwebsites.com/index.html.


Branches at the Crossroads

Branches.  Looking at this photograph of Crossroads, you see a plant’s branches.  More specifically, there is a main stem and two branches arching away from the body.  Look closer.


Notice, the young stem grew thicker than the rest of the body.  At some point in it’s young life it had a traumatic experience. Part of it started to grow in another direction.  You can see the dark bands where the stem and the branches connect.  Are those scars?


Was the plant at a crossroads?  Did it have to decide on which branch to send most of it’s energy to?  It decided to continue  anyway, becoming a little less thick as the plant redirected it’s energy to those branches.


Imagine that the plant became more stuck in it’s ways.  It’s own main stem growing a little less due to the needs of those branches.  In response it grows thorns, a protective device for sure.  But protection from what?  Change?  Redirection of it’s vital energy?  Does the plant even know?  Does it realize the branches allow the plant the ability to feel alive?  It’s the part of the plant that the sun is striking the brightest.


As we grow older, our branches also spread.  They are traumatic and leave scars on our life stem.  We, like the plant, can develop thorns to protect us from this harm.  The branches are children, jobs, financial responsibilities, or even relatives we must care for.  Anything that sucks our energy away from us.  But are our thorns there for protection, or because of our own stubbornness?   It is a desire on our part to dislike change and wish things would just stay the same.  Yet, we may come to learn that it was at that time that we were at our brightest.

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