From Loring Knoblauch’s review for DLK Collection:
Comments/Context: In a contemporary photography world dominated by sharpness, Bill Armstrong is a contrarian. Since the late 1990s, he has been making pictures defined by their extreme blurriness, letting his appropriated and collaged compositions dissolve into exercises in visual perception. His newest project begins with the shadowy visual motifs of film noir and turns them into indistinct silhouettes swimming in seas of vibrant, lavish, saturated color. The effect is a sense of heightened moodiness and mystery, well matched to the hard boiled Chandleresque subject matter of men in dark coats.
Armstrong’s blurred approach deftly strips away any specific narrative or distracting details, paring the compositions back to amorphous forms and painterly swaths of color. The most recognizable scenes find lonely men posed against rich yellow and orange sunsets, or hunkered down in drab hues against the encroaching trees or falling rain. Others have an almost futuristic feel, with dark figures faced with long, receding hallways. And many defy any kind of imposed story at all, breaking down into ethereal component parts and bold abstractions of electric yellow, bright purple, royal blue, and fire engine red.
View Bill Armstrong’s series, “Film Noir”
Browse all of Bill Armstrong’s work at ClampArt