Saturday, January 15, 2011

A photographer returns to metal work

I love depth. Funny to say that considering my medium of choice is photography, and ultimately the surface is flat. At a recent reunion with high school friends, they reminded me that I was the photographer among them. I was the creator of the memories, and of course I brought the pictures with me to the reunion. My love of photography and graphic arts was highly influenced by my aunt and uncle. Mort and Millie Goldsholl were renown designers with a graphics and advertising agency outside of Chicago. Every time I look at the Motorola logo I think of them. They designed it back in the early 50s and it has stood the test of time.

As a young activist in the 70s I chose to change directions. Instead of finishing my art studies in photography, I decided to work with metals. I created art metal jewelry constructs until my hands stopped working well in that medium. The ravages of time. I started teaching photography and that brought back all the memories of my love of the art form. Working with alternative processes and digital manipulation gave me opportunities to merge my love of graphics, fine art and photography. I thought metal was lost to me forever. I was introduced to printing on aluminum through Joe Nalven and the Digital Art Guild. When I saw the brushed aluminum and the depth created in prints on aluminum, I was hooked. I work with infrared photography, and the combination of that alternative process with metal is very exciting. It is as if you can walk right into the scene.

As the process of merging imagery and metals evolves, so do our creative options. I don’t think of the metal as just the printing substrate. For me, it is an integral part of my art, and an exciting time for experimentation.

Eileen Mandell

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