ARTIST SERIES

The artist states: “Partial Appearances is a meditation on self, identity and the psychological state of in-betweenness that reflects the transitional nature of contemporary life. Appearances may or may not be real, and half-truths are often the best one can hope for. Identity, itself, is in question as the shift from the real to the “cyber” leaves the individual in a state of flux. At the same time, once fixed ideas about gender have become fluid and open.

Partial Appearances continues my investigation into re-purposing the basic tools of photography to transform found or appropriated images so as to subvert the documentary expectation of photography. My early work with found collages of torn posters (Accidental Portraits, Found Collages, Found Diptychs) used framing to transform images hidden in plain sight into illusionistic images. The Infinity series used blur, or negative depth of field, to create an ephemeral parallel universe. Unfixed relied on shutter speed to create fractured, distorted images by moving the camera during long exposures. Partial Appearances explores the magical possibilities of the digital tool of layering to transform a combination of appropriated and made up images into psychological fictions.

“With Partial Appearances I have found a new method of creating imagery that furthers my interest in the contrast and harmony of colors while addressing many of the spiritual concerns of the Infinity series. On the simplest level, the use of layers is an apt metaphor for the increased number of layers that threaten to overwhelm the psyche, adding on more to the existing layers of anxiety, alienation, longing and isolation that can submerge contemporary individuals as they try to navigate a constantly shifting world. At the same time, the layers of different opacity represent different sides of the self and point to the spiritual dilemma of the individual’s struggle to become whole in an increasingly complex world.”

Work by Bill Armstrong

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