Wednesday, December 12, 2012

David Finell reviews Jerry Uelsmann

            Jerry Uelsmann is a remarkable American fine art photographer.  He pioneered the concept of photomontage and has blended images with such creative mastery that his images can instantly be recognized as unique masters in his style.

            Jerry Uelsmann was born in Detroit Michigan in 1934.  He gained an interest in photography while attending school around the age of 14.  He went on to persue his interest earning BA from the Rochester Institute of  Technology and also completed MS and MFA degrees from Indiana University.  He taught photography at the University of Florida in 1960.  He had his first solo exhibit at MOMA in 1967.  This, he claims, launched his photographic career.

            Jerry’s images dive into the surreal exhibiting imagery detail far greater than the imagination.  Words from Edgar Allan Poe come to mind when he contradicted him self saying “Not long ago the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained “the power of words”-- denied that ever
A thought arose within the human brain
Beyond the utterance of the human tongue”  In a similar respect Jerry’s command of the photographic process allows us to e3xperience the imagination.  His blending of images before the days of Photoshop are mind-boggling.  I have a difficult time fathoming how the images were created.  The juxtaposing of objects command the viewer to take more than a second look, but a third and fourth, etc. to ensure that you are actually seeing what you think you are.  While I greatly appreciate his work; have used Photoshop to achieve similar results, and want to expand my skills in this type of art;  I feel that the narrow-mindedness of local photographic groups would Poo-Poo this type of photography as being more illustrative rather than ph0otographic.  I hope you the reader has a better appreciation for this fantastic original work.

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