The photographs from Studio Practice examine the behind-the-scenes environment of art educational facilities. Through these images I visually investigate spaces that speak to the nature of the environment in which art instruction takes place. My interest in this subject has evolved over the past twenty years as I began looking at the studio spaces in college art departments in which I have taught. These interior photographs examine the way in which individuals express themselves through the spaces they occupy. They capture ideals, sensibilities, and cultural values of the artists’ environments. The work of art (often in process), along with the props and tools used to create it, have become the primary subject of this enterprise. In these unpretentious spaces there is unlimited potential for creative expression.
What interests me in these spaces is behind or beyond the obvious and intended frame. I become immersed in the layers of associational possibilities and juxtapositions which occur within these settings. I am especially engaged with the encrusted layers of textures, color, gesso, and paint that these objects accrue through repeated use. These layers speak to the rich history of art as it has been practiced for centuries, and the quixotic nature of the creative process itself. In these spaces it is often the most banal objects that are to be transformed into “subject matter.” A clothes hanger, an empty can, an old shoe, or sometimes a photograph might become the subject of the artist’s intense exploration. That these ordinary objects are often artfully embellished by their placement on lush velvet drapery or crowded by classical sculpture reproductions only adds to the mystery of the alchemy of art. The subject of my photographs vacillates between the artists who inhabit the studios and the environments they leave behind.
Studio Practice is an ongoing project that I started in 2009. The prints are archival digital prints.