Wednesday, December 12, 2012

David Finell reviews Nancy Breslin

            Nancy Breslin is a Fine Art photographer who specializes in using pinhole imaging.  She works from her home in Newark, Delaware.  She started out as a psychiatrist but later earned her MFA from the university of Delaware.  She has also taught photography and is currently a visiting artist at Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library.

            I found it surprising that I stumbled upon another artist who specializes in using pinhole photography for their work.  One of my first photo instructors also specialized in using this technique.  In her work “Pinhole Meals” her images are reminiscent of those taken by Eugene Atget with ghostly images of the people and movement apparent in each one.  She lists the exposure time with her images revealing shutter times from 10 seconds to 2 minutes.  Many of the images have an extraordinarily large field of view lending me to believe the pinhole is fairly close to the film plane.  That being said, the images exhibit remarkable rectilinear qualities.  All of her images seem to be uncharacteristically sharp from what I am use to from pinhole cameras.  While her work is definitely unique I personally find it somewhat bland.  I do recognize some artistic value in her images but I don’t think I would use the images on any of my walls.  None of her images from these collections are particularly thought provoking to me.  Her work in alternative processes on the other hand yields some imagination that I find engaging.  I like playing with words in much the same way as Nancy plays with images.  Her cyanotype bedspread is an example of this It shows two people under the covers.  This may seem too literal, but I like it.

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