Week-13-Project Development.

Submitted for  LAAA (Los Angeles Artist Association) for a group show, however was not accepted. So, it is  disappointing, for obvious reasons, however, I got a lot out of it in other ways, by making the application and sending off the two images they required. (Applying for a group show, is a first for me, I’m not a ‘GROUP’ person)

In hind sight they were rather ‘ordinary’ images,  but the guidelines was ‘simplicity’  I can only presumed ‘their’ concept of simplicity and ‘mine’ are not the same.

‘New Direction’ Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©
‘Libertas’ Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©

Rejection is never easy. However, I got a lot out of it. The deadline to deliver the image/images ready for exhibition, if selected, was by Setember 7th and the notification if accepted was on August the 31st. So I would have had this week to make prints (in the darkroom) and frame it ( I decided to frame my own work for the FMP) so I worked in the darkroom and on the framing this week as if I was accepted. I decided to print my own images and frame them myself, after being so limited by the Labs, they are either too busy or  too expensive. It was good practice run for the FMP.

‘New Directions’ Photo by: Pierre Chemaly© In the floating frame I constructed.

I made the prints (with sloppy borders, I like that) and did the framing. I learned a lot about framing and mounting images.  I like floating frames, where the image ‘floats’ as  if suspended in the air as opposed to matting, so this is what I will do for my FMP. In all the galleries I have attended, over this module, as well as looking at the artists and their work, I look at framing that attracts me.  All the work is professionally done, by top of the line framers.  (I will go next week to a company that frames John Baldesari’s work, I forget the name now but I will research it.) I did go there once, and their prices where very high.

To have my whole show done professionally will cost a fortune, some of these framers are charging around $500 to $800 for each print mounted as  a floating images. If the work is framed with mattes and done professionally, will cost around half that.

Museum grade glass or arylic is also very expensive, and ranges in price from $70 for glass to $250 for acrylic, for a sheet of 16×20.  So this can add additional cost.  I am pretty handy with this type of work, I could even make my own frames from scratch if I wanted to, however I will look on line and order some premade ones then finish it myself. To finish a floating frame and mount mount the print myself will cost about 25% of the pro frame shops; plus my time.

I enjoy this kind of work, and as I am making my own prints instead of having them done at a lab (costing between $75 and $150 each) I can print them myself at a cost of $2 to $5 a print, sizes will include: 11×14’s, and 20×24’s,  However, the paper comes in minimum packs of 10 for the bigger sizes (20×24) and packs of 25 for 11×14’s. The Foma paper which I really like, is not cheap The 10 pack of Fomabrom 20×24 costs around $70.  By them time the master print is made, I may get 3. my printing ration is about 1:3/4  In addition I have to wait for weeks for  the order, so I will have to  buy locally and that will add additional cost.

Fomabrom 111 (Fibre, Glossy) Photo: B&H Photo NY.

I am still prevaricating on the glossy or matte surface.  I like the Foma Glossy 111 and the Foma Matte 112, each have their pro’s and cons,  so will still be working with both these surfaces, testing  both, before I make the final choice. I am leaning to the glossy more and more. I am glad to be working with these materials in the darkroom and making my own prints, because when this materials run through my hands and I see it first hand.  Each medium has it’s plusses and minuses.  The glossy is very difficult to dry flat, the matte is easier. The glossy shows nice contrasts between the blacks and the whites, the tones with the matte have a lot less snap to the blacks and the whites. As my work is contrasty by nature, I like it to show that way up on the print.

I am getting all my images to-gether for the FMP, I am working on the final series now, putting the ‘Story of Fences’ together, in Lightroom in the timeline at the bottom, I can arrange my images there, however once I have selected the images I am going to submit for the FMP I will print them all out on cheap paper and arrage them on the wall in from of me, as has been suggested by all the tutors of the MA.

I am good at abstarct thinking, so I have no problem in arrangig them cognitively, however, as I have learned from going to all these galleries and looking at work, something happens when the images are hanging on the wall. All the tiny details, and even some of the bigger details, are difficult, if not impossible to see on a computer screen, or for that matter in a cheap print. I do have images I have constructed this module that I will show, 2 are the mural prints, I have already made, they are 40×60 inches, and if I have the opportunity to exhibit one or both I will. I made these prints myself at a workshop, and it took a lot of work, and one needs a lot of space to do it, and seeing these images are in the theme of my series they will most probably be used either as murals, or as my bigger prints of 16×20 or 20×24.  During this module, I have temporized  between being completely abstract, ie by constructing images that have no recognizable forms in them, to having a few where something of nature can be discerned.  I have been committed to both, and seem to change every day or too back and fourth every week.

Right now I am back to having some reperesentation in the work (as I read this a crow flies past my window) (The crow is one of my images in the work)  as I feel it better communicates the abstraction, however, will still seek advice from the tutors and then finally make a decision.  I have to choose what best communicates the vision, not what needs serve my ego, and as I have been fighting to cross the fence of  oving form the commercial world into the art world, I am having the problem every one has when doing anything for the first time, and that is over- compensation.  However my ego still tells me that if I do not do it, I will not have completed my journey…fully! so this this is the battle and the fence at this point of my practice. However, I do know and recognize the value of commu itating the vision, and if I fail, I will not be able to share with my viewers the experience I have had over my lifetime as well as my time here on the MA. So my reasoning is to keep in a bit of the representational.


I made a call to Marc Valesella. He is an artist and a  photographic printer here in Los Angeles, and in my opinion one of the best analogue printers working to-day. He has one of the most finely tuned enlarging systems around. Geared to give the maximum resolution, focus and contrast  from 35mm and medium format negatives.

I have seen some of his work at Freestyle Photo and at a few photoshops.  He is also on the board of advisors and does the tests on the darkroom papers and advises the clients with examples of his work. I am attampting to get a 1 on 1 with Marc to fine-tuning my printing.   Marc is from Paris leaned printing from Jean Loup Sieff, a French photographer.  Needless to say Marc’s work is very artistic, so I feel I would be a good match. He emailed me and said he would consider doing it around the second week in October. In the meantime I will work and keep printing on my own in my darkroom.

Marc Valesella: http://www.marcvalesella.com/biography/biography.html

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