Dan Wolf, Cornwall, NY Member Since January 2009 Artist Statement I like to manipulate photos and print them big.
I have been taking pictures all my life starting with Kodak Instamatic cameras. At 10 year old, I was using a Polaroid One Step camera (but still using the instamatics because the Polaroid film was about $1 per shot). My parents threatened to get me a real camera sometime in my teen but back down when they saw the prices so I got a Kodak Disc instead.
In college I began taking video classes and photography was an elective. I took that course and had to get a real 35mm SLR camera. So I got a used Minolta XG-1 (still have it today and it still works). I learned black and white developing and printing and was so excited by the process, after the class I bought a complete darkroom set up for my basement and took the next level photography class.
I grew tired of video because the other people in my class were constantly screwing things up (mainly being late). Video relied on too many other people and if 1 person did a bad job, the entire group suffered. Photography was completely controlled by me and so I switched my major to photography.
I began experimenting with several different camera techniques and photographic processes. In my junior year I was making cyanotype t-shirts of things such as "The Good Helmskeeping" symbol and various headlines from the World Weekly News. But I also began experimenting with destroying photographic images and my teacher and I decided the destruction route was better.
I began using 4x5 negatives and scratching and painting them. I was boiling a negative and nothing was happening. My roommate said I needed something that would go hotter than 212 degrees and so I used cooking oil. Boy did the house stink but I made a very interesting self portrait. I have added all kinds of different processes to destroy the image. Now that darkrooms are almost gone, I do use the computer although I still do most of the manipulation outside of the computer.
I prefer to print my photos large. In college I was limited to 30 inches wide so most of my photos are around 30x40. The methods I use to destroy the photo are exaggerated by the enlargement process. And the destruction also makes my photos a little scary which is why I use the name "Big, Scary Pictures."
Some of my artistic influences are Duane Michals, Roy Lichtenstein, Jan Saudek, Joel Peter Witkin, Gerald Slota, Jackson Pollack, Rene Magritte, and Edvard Munch.