Vince Donovan is a San Francisco-based photographer, writer, and the co-founder of Photobooth, a portrait studio, camera shop and gallery dedicated to wet-plate, Polaroid, and other hand crafted, one-of-a-kind photographic processes.
Vince built his first darkroom when he was eight years old and since then has worked continuously in film and alternative photography, specializing in portraiture. In 2009, he completed “Little Cities”, a series of thirty-foot photographic murals, each composed of hundreds of individual portraits. Inspired by the work of August Sander, Vince spent two years making a complete series of portraits of members of several non-profit communities, including Old First Presbyterian Church, Creativity Explored, and the San Francisco Welcome Center. The portraits were printed in a darkroom on thirty-foot rolls of photographic paper, using a two dimensional sliding easel Vince designed and built specifically for this project. Each mural required over 8 hours of darkroom time to complete. The eight murals making up “Little Cities” were exhibited at the Rayko Center for Photography. Individual murals can now be seen at Old First Presbyterian church and other locations in San Francisco.
Vince has also experimented extensively with the various forms of Polaroid and other instant photography. For several years he was a common sight in San Francisco’s Mission District taking portraits with a Polaroid Land camera or an Andy-Warhol-style Polaroid Big Shot. He also travelled by bicycle through southern Spain and the north island of New Zealand with a Polaroid Land camera he modified specifically for portraiture. This series is currently on display at the Photobooth Gallery.
In 2011, Vince, together with Michael Shindler, started Photobooth, which has become a center of inspiration for the community of hand-crafted photographers in San Francisco and beyond. Photobooth is both a photography business and an ongoing experiment in portraiture. Over 4000 wet-plate and Polaroid portraits have been taken in the studio since it opened in 2011. Each is a unique hand-crafted object, remarkable in an age when photographic images are assumed to be ubiquitous and infinitely reproducible. Most importantly, each Photobooth portrait creates a unique experience for photographer and subject, a momentary exploration of timelessness and identity.
Through Photobooth, Vince continues to experiment with portrait media and styles, and now conducts workshops exploring the experience of hand-crafted photography. He has also begun a new portrait series involving San Francisco’s communities of faith.
*** You can find Vince on Facebook or talking alternative photography at Photobooth SF.
The work of Lukáš Jasanský & Martin Polák.
From the series: 1988-89 on a sheet of white paper.
**All images from jasansky-polak.svitpraha.org
Driscoll is an illustrator and collage artist living in Windsor, England. To see more of here work visit her site.
The work of Aaron King.
**All images are from aaronthomasking.com
With Valentine’s Day looming over us it seems only fitting to have a pinboard devoted to various shades of my favorite color–blush. To see the whole board go here. To follow Little Paper Planes on pinterest go here.
The work of CHRISTOPHER FÜLLEMANN.
**The last three images are from www.christopherfullemann.com
The work of Ashley Carter. I am interested in the way she uses the apparatuses often used for hanging or display of art more as the subject rather than the support. It creates a new lens to look at pedestals, framing, concrete and saw horses.
**All images are from ashleymcarter.com
February 6-March 15, 2013
Artists: Sophie Behal, Zoe Tilly Poster, Radio Sebastion, Jenny Brown, Clare Olivares, Sonya Gallardo, Emily Tareila, Andrew Riggins, Zoe Ani, Club Muscles, Carrie Perreault, Dan Swindel, UNOPUEDE, Kate Bieschke, Bobby Coleman, Bruna Massadas, Carey Lin, Erika Lynne Hanson, Johanna Tagada, Nicolas Lamas, Lou Patrou, Jessica Sanders, Justin Gainan, Meredith Aitken, Eric R. Martin, Sasha Krieger, Val Britton
Organized by Hillary Wiedemann
If you were asked to describe your work by only showing things that inspire you (such as objects, photographs, or books), in the place where you make the work, and describe the work verbally in a brief statement, could you? If you only had a few days to prepare for this, would you be ready? As artists, we hope that the art will speak for itself, but the supplements of an artists’ practice and the chance elements of timing and preparedness are just as much a part of the exhibition process. These supplements include a place to work, materials and objects of inspiration, and writing about the work. This online exhibition was an experiment – I was interested to see how the LPP community would respond to an open call for entry, with strict guidelines, a short deadline, and a significant element of chance. The results are in, and I am pleased to share with you the entries we received. View full online exhibition here.
Erika Lynne Hanson
Fiona Curran has a knack for presenting her paintings in elaborate installation type settings. She is based out of London. To see more of her work visit her site.
Painter Amelia Midori Miller strips painting to some of its most matter of fact elements, layers, color, fields and line. But her simplification lays bare the process of discovery that each painting holds for Miller, and in turn for us, as we puzzle through hidden clues and obscured information, piecing together a sense of material process from the evidence in a picture.
MH: Your paintings are quite abstract, in that there’s rarely anything representational to pin down. However, from time to time, surprising textures and configurations seem to gel, like in the painting Ladder, and a concrete object seems to come halfway into sight. I understand that observation and source material continue to be important for you as you’ve moved from figurative painting to your current body of work. Can you talk about how they function for you?
AMM: Instead of capturing the moment as in figurative painting or photography, my paintings today capture the moment in painting. It is a representation of my intuitive process that allows the painting to develop subconsciously. The root of this series is the idea of obstructed views. I have only lived in metropolitan areas (Tokyo and New York) and one of the things that’s common with all cities is how your views get interrupted by the surrounding architecture. You never see the entirety of anything. Everything gets cut off, intersected, obscured, and that’s how I approach my paintings.
MH: And backing up a bit, how did the evolution of your current body of work come about?
AMM: My move from figurative to non-representational work occurred in graduate school. Critiquing figurative works almost always focuses on the specific narrative. But the truth is, I hated discussing the narrative and I am not a storyteller. I love how open abstract painting is, and it’s much easier to start a new painting. I love not knowing or even having a vision of the finished painting.
MH: Your paintings often contain hidden and obscure details and it looks like you use layering to achieve this effect of hidden information. I’m curious what your physical studio process, as well as thought process, are in the process of making a painting and developing these layers.
AMM: I start with a form or a pattern from photographs or rough sketches and subsequent layers are worked on. There is a general formula of patterning, concealing, and adjusting. Because of the drying time of oil paint, the layers are done on different days. I definitely think of them as Photoshop layers since they are so separate to me. The layers are usually applied differently, from taping to spraying to gestural painting.
MH: What’s your thinking behind your palette? I see cycles of certain colors emerging and receding over time and I’m curious about what your relationship with color is.
AMM: My palette is dictated by my current state of mind. Each individual painting is like a “character” that I create from scratch with different “personalities,” ranging from whimsical to somber to restrained. When I first began this body of work, the color combinations were very subtle, which slowed down the reading. Now, I am playing more with high-contrast and bold color choices but still with a slow read—this time with the intersecting layers and linear shapes, and not with the subtle tonal shifts.
MH: How did you get into painting in the first place? Who inspired you then and who are you excited about now?
AMM: I always wanted to be a painter, since as early as I was six years old, and never considered anything outside of the creative/artistic field. The painters that have influenced me recently include Charline Von Heyl, for her daring individuality in each painting, and Thomas Scheibitz, especially for the unexpected slices of color between shapes that are hidden until closer inspection. I admire Zak Prekop and his simplified and precise layered execution. I shared the experience of going to both undergraduate and graduate school with my boyfriend, Augustus Nazzaro, and inevitably, he is one my biggest influences. I boycotted the use of the color black for many years, until very recently when I yearned for the boldness of black. His minimalistic approach has definitely trickled into my work.
MH: What’s your titling process like? Some of your titles really speak to something that seems to be there pictorially (Wet Window, for example) and others are much more abstract. How do painting and language relate to you?
AMM: I don’t start thinking about the title until I’m completely finished with the painting, but when I do it’s quick and intuitive. The title is a hint into my interpretation of the painting. A lot of times I think of the general form and what it personally reminds me of. For example, WWIII comes from the idea of planning a war on a map, and Sandy was painted during the hurricane and was inspired by the debris left behind.
MH: What are some of the challenges you’re looking to tackle, or projects that you dream of but haven’t gotten around to yet?
AMM: I have been working at 52” high x 38” wide for a little while now and I would love to keep on expanding on it and have an extensive series of work the same size and exhibit them all together. I’ve never worked continuously with the same dimensions and it’s exciting because I have this set goal and every reference material I find fits this mold. This way there is no hierarchy to the sizes and I approach each canvas equally—each painting is in and of itself.