Pink Peony Marek Matusz Media: Four-Layer Gum Bichromate on Fabriano Artistico Cold Press Paper Print Size: 11"x14" Framed 16"x20" Valued: $550 Starting Bid: $100
Artist Bio: I was born in Poland, but have lived in the United States for over four decades and call Houston, Texas my home. My interests in photography go back over 50 years to my first, all manual Russian-made 35 mm camera. Botanical still lives and the landscape of the American West are my favorite subjects. I have spent a lot of time traveling in the West with my 4x5 Toyo view camera, switching to digital capture recently. I always saw the wor1d around me in black and white and for years I was a classical B&W photographer making silver gelatin prints. I admired turn of the century platinum and albumen prints in various museums and collections, but always thought that the process of making them was too expensive and complicated. I started making alternative photographs about 30 years ago and have not looked back. I am currently working in several alternative photographic processes including cyanotype, platinum / palladium, albumen but gum bichromate is by far my favorite. The technical issues of making these photographs are immense and require lots of practice during which hundreds of bad prints are made. The exciting part is that every step allows for a creative control of the final image. From the selection of best art papers, through mixing my own chemistry, applying photosensitive solution to papers, selecting pigments and metals, finally exposure and processing. All is done by hand, one photograph at a time creating a unique work of art that you can hold in your hand. Last year I started experimenting with blending hand painted watercolor backgrounds with photographs of flowers to create prints that look more like watercolor paintings than photographs. Gum bichromate is the best medium to express my creative process, as it is all hand-made and allows to select colors/pigments. With each pigmented layer color image is build up to arrive at final look of the print. Two prints at the exhibit are examples of this recent work.