Les Rudnick

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures" --Henry Beecher
I became interested in photography at the age of twelve and began developing and printing black and white shortly thereafter. During college, I learned to also process color slides and to make color prints. I began to read about the history of photography. I am fascinated by the opportunities to create images using only light and its interaction with objects – the Photogram, Rayograph, Schadograph, etc. The images of Man Ray, Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, Carlotta Corpron, have influenced some of my work. I have also spent a great deal of time looking at images of Andre Kertesz, Imogen Cunningham and Ruth Bernhard. Paul Caponigro, Edward Weston, and early work of Brett Weston has also captured my imagination and taught me ways to observe and see the natural environment.

For me photography is magic. I truly enjoy the darkroom. Watching a print come alive under the dim illumination of the safelight is still a thrill after all these years. The darkroom is my Visual Research Laboratory. Seeking and finding the location or viewpoint for my photography, visualization, and image capture allow me to use kinesthetic and visual modalities to a greater or lesser extent. These same two modalities are at work in the conventional darkroom.

Photograms for many artists are constructions based on realistic imagery. I prefer the abstract nature of the image shadow based on partial transparency, translucency, and the presence and absence of material such as lace or mesh. The layered textures simulate three-dimensional perception on a two dimensional substrate. My photograms are new forms created by light and shadows. They are in a sense - new forms created from transient forms. The chemigram is constructed by applying photographic chemicals randomly or systematically to previously exposed photographic paper or film. The chemical reaction creates the image and the tone of the final print. The chimigramme was invented by Pierre Cordier in the 1950s. Photo batik provides an opportunity to combine the process of batik to the chemigram. This changes an essentially random process into one that allows the control of pattern normally associated with batik printing. Through the use of irregular and flexible objects, the final print takes on a very personal, never repeatable, image. This uniqueness in the printing technique is important in the way that I perceive and artistically represent the world around me when I am creating ‘grams.

The photogram is truth.  It represents the pure interaction of light with an object.  In my work I have been working to capture the essence of objects as defined by this symbiosis of light and object.  Each photogram is a unique photograph.  It IS the writing of the object with light.

There are now many opportunities to create imagery using digital photographic techniques. I am beginning to explore some of these methods to complement, but not replace, my interest in silver gelatin and alternative photographic processes. Film and digital capture each have their advantages and disadvantages. It is how they are used that provides opportunity for creative imagery.

I want the message of my images to transcend the medium—i.e. that the image will communicate the message (grandeur of nature, sensuality of a model, and delicate nature of a flower) independent of whether the images was captured on film or digitally, or developed and then scanned or converted to a larger negative for use in alternative printing.

The following are quotes or comments that have meaning to me. I wish to share them with other image-makers and artists.

You seek the image, but the image finds you.-Les Rudnick 10/04

Love like art returns in measure the emotion one carries to it, - one finds what one seeks. -Edward Weston, Daybooks

And someday there shall be such closeness that when one cries the other will taste salt. -unknown

“ ….. the limitations of photography are in yourself, for what we see is only what we are.” -Ernst Haas

“The enlightened attention rejects nothing nor welcomes anything – like a mirror it responds equally to all.” -Chuang Tzu

“To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage.” -Georgia O’Keefe

“Photography must contain one thing: the humanity of the moment.” -Robert Frank

“Sex and beauty are inseparable, like life and consciousness.” -D. H. Lawrence

“The body says what words cannot.” -Martha Graham

We see things not as they are. We see them as we are. -Morrie Cambi

People don’t really decide their future – They decide their habits - then their habits decide their future.

“Three or four masterpieces are better than 50 or 60 buildings” -I. M. Pei about Louis Kahn

Art is created as an independent act in response to a collection of environmental factors or memories that influence the artist at the moment of creation of the art. -Les Rudnick

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust

You are not old until regrets take the place of dreams. -John Barrymore

We understand when we find commonality in our suffering. unknown

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for G-d the energies of love, then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” -Teilhard de Chardin

The essential conditions of everything we do must be choice, love, passion. -Nadia Boulanger

Photography is a magic thing, Nothing will ever be as much fun! -Jacques-Henri Lartique

The shadows of our environment are the transient photograms of our perceptual conciousness. -Les Rudnick 11/94

“Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees”. -Paul Valery

“The enemy of photography is the convention…. The salvation of photography comes from the experiment”.
-Lazlo Moholy-Nagy from Taken by Design

“Because there are empty spaces, we are able to use them” -Lao Tse

“An object is meaningful when, through it, one perceives another object. -L’Artiste et sa conscience – Sartre

“Art is the presentation of the world as it would be were it recaptured by human freedom” -Interview with Chartre’ – Sartre

The mystery is in the shadows.

The shadows of all people are cast in the same way by the same light. We are all created of the same life force that blocks the sun’s rays to form our shadows. -Les Rudnick 3/9/02

ART = Awe for the beauty in this world, Responsibility for the integrity of the image created, Trust in the subject and yourself