Uelsmann

Do yourself a favor and spend some time today looking at Jerry Uelsmann photos. Unbelievably prolific. Ridiculously technical. As the MOCP said:

Made entirely in the darkroom, Jerry Uelsmann creates his surreal photographs in a series of steps, masking and exposing different areas of photosensitive paper as he changes negatives. He maintains some loyalty to the aesthetic of traditional landscape and still life photography, insofar as the seams and edges of each successive element are concealed, and the resulting composite suggests the unity of a singular view or scene. The metaphoric and symbolic force of Uelsmann’s photographs is derived from these juxtapositions, consistencies, and forms. Uelsmann’s photo-montages extend the tradition of surrealist photography pioneered by the avant-garde photographers and painters of the 1930s and 40s: positive and negative spaces are inverted and false reflections appear in earth and water, architectural elements like windows and doorways bound tapestries of sky and sand.

What they don’t say is that he’s also a funny motherfucker who loves music, and how impossible it is to imagine how much work he’s created in that complex style. Oh yeah. And JBJ’s a fan. See also

6 Replies to “Uelsmann”

  1. That’s some seriously impressive old-school shit. In a weird way, this reminds me of practical versus digital effects in movies.

  2. These are muy fantastico.

    I tried to watch Suchy’s video, but the link doesn’t work. Undeterred, I keep mashing the button, thinking it will eventually load. I’ll let you know how that works out.

  3. Also, shit.

    NYT obit this week: here.

    Describing Mr. Uelsmann’s home studio in Gainesville in “Uelsmann Untitled,” Ms. McCusker wrote that his walls were “pinned with cartoons, dolls’ heads, strange toys that move or talk, 3-D sculptures of Hieronymus Bosch and 19th-century Victoriana,” and that his shelves were filled with camera memorabilia, mug shots and gizmos — all of which seemed to form a chorus “that silently encourages or inspires his next creation.”

  4. I didn’t want to mention when I posted this that he was clearly on his way out, but there you go. His son is a very good friend of mine, and I got to watch quite a few football games with he and Jerry, and he always invited me to his birthday parties, where Jerry reunited the Peyton Brothers bluegrass band and would be very adamant that everyone shut the fuck up and listen to them.

    I’ll really miss him. He was a sweet, funny man, and it’s one of the highlights of my life to have gotten to know him and hang out with him just the little bit that I did. I’ve been in his studio many times, but sadly never got to see him actually work; though he did show me his vast collection of wind up toys and miniature cameras. He adored his son, and had a three-legged dog who died not long before he did. He was also ridiculously prolific, working until the stroke took him out.

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