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The New Color Photography 2.0

The title for this essay came from Sally Eauclaire’s book "The New Color Photography" Abbeville,1981.  It was the watershed publication for the establishment of what became “fine art color photography”. The images it presented have become the iconography for color photography. I used the title and plates from the book itself as the mirror to look at how photography and the “photograph” has transformed over the past 38 years.


What is a photograph today in 2020?  Our world has acclimated to the idea, over several decades, that inkjet prints are photographs. Of course technically they are not. Yet this new medium has it’s own basic aesthetic personality and freedoms that are unfathomable by traditional photographic processes. Printing on the back of inkjet paper allowing the pigments to flow, as they would, reacting in a natural way to the medium. These small monoprints (8x10”) are then scanned and printed at a larger scale (40x50”) to explore the happenstance and painterly elements. This reinterpretation is a declaration of honesty and clarity to this medium and it’s own character. Just as photography matured in service to the realms and restrictions of painting, to finally reach a level of exploration outside of painting.


Since the examination of Eauclaire’s book I expanded the project to include an overview of “Classic” photography, restricted to only pre-digitally produced photography.


The third avenue of this project is “Photo Fair”. I attend photography/art fairs to photograph the actual artworks with either the direct or tacit consent of the gallery/owner, though they are not complicit in the final product.


Crucial to the selection process are the reflections found in their glass. The over-whelming cascade of other framed images, lights and people playing upon each other. These transformative elements reveal an environment of fiscal, commercial, social aspects that can overshadow the significance of the image itself.


Chad Kleitsch 2019

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