Since the 1950’s Jerry Uelsmann has created his surreal photographs entirely in the traditional black-and-white darkroom combining multiple negatives seamlessly into new visual realities, ones that didn’t exist before the camera eye at one moment in time but were found in the mind’s eye over a lifetime.

Many view his images as a continuance of the surreal photography pioneered by avante-garde photographers in the 1930’s. While influenced by this movement, he feels his work has a kinship with a larger visionary sensibility that has risen and fallen cyclically throughout the history of art or which could perhaps better be characterized as the history of consciousness.

Absurd only to the conscious mind, more inquisitive than critical, his work is neither automatic or entirely random, but rather driven by felt connections as opposed to ones that are intellectually prefigured. Though punctuated with moments of humor and horror, the dominant tendency in his body of work is towards encountering and collecting moments of sublimity.

Freely mixing archetypal images drawn from the natural world and architectural images (with a particular emphasis on museums and libraries both repositories of information, surrogate minds if you will) his work suggests a continual exchange between our insides and outsides. Transference, projection, repression, fixation, conflict; the contents and processes of the soul are laid out on the surfaces of his images for all to see. Occasionally Uelsmann recycles the same images creating multiple compositions from them, revealing additional connections and suggesting the continual internal stirring necessary for psychological metamorphosis.

For me, as much today as when I was a child, long before Photoshop, Jerry Uelsmann was a shining example of possibilities. He used a relatively young medium with a developing tradition in a different way. He created his own visual language to build a very personal visual world one image at a time – and then shared it with us. His is a different kind of work. He does the soul’s work through poetry rather than the mind’s work through non-fiction.

Read my extended conversation with Jerry Uelsmann here.

Find out more about my influences here.

Read more

Between 1957 and 1960, Mike Wallace hosted a 30 minute conversation with luminaries of the era, including Salvador Dali (age 53 at the time). As with everything Dali did, it’s colorful and eccentric.

View more creativity videos here.

Budh

Budh

Censered

Censered

Enchambered

Enchambered

Exhalation I

Exhalation I

In Chalice

In Chalice

Marking Time

Marking Time

Quiet Ululation

Quiet Ululation

RosaCelestia

Rosa Celestia

Secret Flower

Secret Flower

Small Green Island

Small Green Island

St Elmos Keep

St. Elmos Keep

Triple Goddess

Triple Goddess

View more of my Annual Top 12 Selections here.

View more images in my ebooks here.

View my full Works here.

View my Series videos here.

View new images in my newsletter Collectors Alert.


Subscribe

Get the RSS Feed  

Subscribe by Email