With every show at MFA Circle Gallery, there is always so much more than meets the eye. Yesterday, someone pointed out to me the precision and accuracy involved in Keith Parks photograph “Anticipating the Inevitable”. The gallery goer was himself a photographer who recognized that Parks photograph was actually created by carefully constructed folded paper and lighting techniques. So instead of using photoshop to create grayscales, the artist would have to set up his lighting to capture shadow depth. There is much more depth represented through the actual textures of the paper than could be created digitally.
Here is what Keith Parks Has to Say About His Work:
This image is of a paper assemblage set up specifically to be photographed. After I take the photos, I take the paper construction apart and recycle it. The paper I use is a card-stock weight craft paper, heavy enough so that when I bend it, it will hold a curve.
The actual paper piece is quite small, around 8-10 inches across. I have to work that small so that the texture of the paper itself will be noticeable in relation to the scale of the image. And I like for people to be able to tell it is paper. I think, and hope, that this familiarity with the material makes the images move accessible and “viewer friendly”, particularly when the image is otherwise purely abstract.
Unfortunately, I do not have any “process” images of how I set it up, but the lighting is a critical part of the look of the pieces. I use a very low-power, soft light just off from the camera position. The quick “fall off” of this low power light emphasizes the perception of depth.
The title of this piece is short for “Anticipating the Inevitable Downward Spiral”, which just plays off the composition of the image. But calling it “Downward Spiral” seems like it would be too obvious.
As for the design relates to other styles, I’m happy to hear others see the connection. I have several pieces that are inspired by or reminiscent of Bauhaus style and other 30s and 40s art and advertising imagery.
Here is a link to some of my “Bauhaus-inspired” pieces: