Larry Shapiro Photography


Artist Statement

Photography can transform clutter to order, insignificance to value, mundane to sacred. A photograph is a piece of magic; for some it can be created anywhere and anytime.  I need a quiet space where the everyday noise fades. In that silence I find my creativity. Images begin in the quiet before the camera, evolve in the mystery of the darkroom and are completed in the passion of the artist’s studio.

 

Producing a still life requires contemplation, skill, patience. Camera settings, lighting, composition are only first steps.   In the darkroom, where the door is closed to the outside world, I become immersed in the rhythm of processing the image.

 

Fifteen years ago, I learned about the bromoil technique. With a brush and ink I can extend my creativity past the silver image to a handmade print. With brush in hand, I give shape to my image with each stroke.  Sometimes a print needs slow and steady strokes. Other times, the image calls for staccato taps, or even the occasional pounding. I am physically creating the print.

 

From the silence before the camera to the glow of the darkroom safelight, with the tapping of the inking brush, quiet order comes to light.

Bio

When I was 12, looking through a microscope fascinated me, I wanted to photograph what I was seeing and decided I needed to learn how to take pictures. It turned out photography fascinated me more than looking through the microscope. While photography was my passion, medicine became my profession.

 

In 1979 I moved back to the Bay Area determined to become a West Coast large format landscape photographer. By attending one of the last Ansel Adams workshops in Yosemite, I met Todd Walker who was in the forefront of the renaissance of the alternative processes. He inspired me to explore these non silver techniques. I experimented in cyanotypes, brownprints, and gum but when I found bromoil and especially bromoil transfer I knew that I had found my medium.

 

Juried Shows

2000: Center for Phographic Arts Awards Exhibition: only Honorable Mention in the exhibition

2001: Center for Phographic Arts Awards Exhibition

2001: Viewpoint Gallery: The Visual Edge, Alternative Explorations

2005: Contemporary Pictorial Photography Exhibition by the New Pictorialist Society

2006, 2007: Pacific Art League Annual Photography Show

2008: ModernBook, Palo Alto California, Emerging Artist Show

 

Awards

1995: Santa Clara County Man Ray Prize for experimental photography

 

Publications:

Cover photograph for American Lung Association Bulletin, Fall 1994, The Faces of Asthma.

 

Teaching

1999: Center for Photographic Arts workshop in Gum Printing

2002: Fresno City College Photography Program: workshop in Bromoil and transfer

2001-2007: Photography instructor with UC Santa Cruz Extension photography program

Workshops given in Bromoil Printing and Transfer and Night Photography