The Kiernan Gallery is very pleased to have Matthew Gamber as our juror for Abstraction. We have asked him a few questions about his work and teaching.
Your work, in particular Blank Chalkboards and This is (Still) The Golden Age, are comprised of abstract images and yet the subject matter is also very apparent. How do you think your own work affects your role as juror for Abstraction?
I have tried to consider how certain images can resonate with viewers even if the subject matter of the photograph is not readily apparent. It requires a kind of evaluation that might not be required by artwork with subject-based content. As a juror, I imagine I will identify with images that not only have a unique aesthetic, but those that have undergone a certain level of scrutiny by the artist.
Untitled (Chalkboard 17) from series Blank Chalkboards
This is (Still) The Golden Age was created with a unique process. Tell us a bit about this process.
The image is a direct transfer of the light radiating from a television cathode ray tube. By pressing the paper directly against the glass, the remaining light is collected. The process converts an electronic illusion into physical artifact. The result is a light-based photographic print, where the light has been recorded onto a permanent surface.
Wimbeldon from series This is (Still) The Golden Age
What is it that appeals to you about abstract photography and how would you describe the evolution of your own work?
The work I have made over the last decade is informed reducing documentary to an authorless ideal. This activity is reductive; the result manifests as abstraction.
Beaver (Leave it to Beaver) from series This is (Still) The Golden Age
You also have an extensive teaching resume. How does your teaching affect your photography and vice versa?
Many ideas for projects have developed from what began as research for class lectures. Also, as a teacher, you learn to deliver ideas in a distilled format.
NTSC Color Bars from series Any Color You Like
Your newest body of work Any Color You Like, has generated a lot of positive response in the photographic community. As an artist, what does success mean to you?
Success, for me, is becoming more connected in the photographic community. I believe forward momentum within a growing network of colleagues is crucial to the long-term career of any artist.