It’s my job to take them to dinner at eighty miles an hour. It’s my job to stop a mile from the restaurant so they can have five pounds of crab legs and three bottles of beer a piece and then go get prime rib. It’s my job to go hunting so they can go fire off their guns an inch from my ear and laugh when I get startled because it’s my job.
In the 1960s, Jerry Uelsmann revolutionized the art of photography by manually blending negatives to produce dreamlike landscapes. “The primary creative gesture for most photographers used to be when they clicked the shutter,” Uelsmann says. “But I realized that the darkroom was a visual research lab where the creative process could continue.” Though we’re now in the era of Photoshop, he continues to forsake digital manipulation, as with the 2006 untitled image made from three photos, one including his wife’s hands. “It is an incredible leap of faith to think maybe this tree could blend into these hands,” Uelsmann says. “But the camera is a license to explore.” Uelsmann’s creations are showcased in a traveling exhibit, “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” at the National Gallery of Art through May 5.
These sculptures are created with such mathematical precision that the image can only be seen as a reflection. To get this effect the London-based artist, Jonty Hurwitz, first scans a 3D object, then distorts it with a computer using π algorithms. His final pieces, made from steel, resin, perspex, or copper, have to be viewed next to a round reflective cylinder – only then do the objects come into focus.