Dan Powell Of Myth and Legend
Fine Art Photograph Collections
Dan Powell: Of Myth and Legend series
Black & white negatives, hand marked and colored prints, 1991-92
This work was accomplished by incorporating objects and xerox images and Xerox transparencies, in a still life or tableau composition, and photographing this composition to produce a Polaroid type 55, 4x5 negative. Natural window light played a big part in this work. After printing the negative, bleach and sepia toner are sometimes used on the still wet print to produce brown tones. The bleached areas are sometimes oxidizing at this point (2006), which seems to add to a sense of age and beauty. Kodak polyfibre G paper was used, as it was an excellent surface for taking marks and color after drying, and responded well to toners also. When dry, the images are hand colored and drawn upon. As with most of my studio work from Flow Chart series onward through the Light and Stone series (particularly black and white work) progressive layers of manipulation take place, from layering the material to be photographed, to sometimes making scratches and marks in the emulsion of the negative, to toning and use of bleach while print is still wet, to making marks and using pencil and oils on the surface of the dry prints. Knowledge accumulates as to various possibilities that work well at each step, and with much experience, intuition lends a hand in incorporating marks at each of these stages. It all became very intuitive at some point.
This work combines images from classical western myths, from representations of myths by other artists, and from illustrations which are seminal in the study of art and mythology. I am interested in the layering which occurs both physically and metaphorically in combining these images. Their combination and interface represent my interest in the somewhat limiting concept of linear time as it has developed in western culture. Though these myths and stories occurred at different times in the development of our culture, they nonetheless exist at all times. Their original meaning is altered in accord with the continuous evolution of culture. Living in a different time supposes an ever changing interpretation of the past. Images from those times, however, remain the same. By combining and layering these images, I draw attention to the element of time, and the simultaneous existence of these ideas and images of the past, within the context of our experience.
Image shown: The image shown above is "Of myth & legend #3/Equilibrium," 1993, from the Of Myth and Legend
series, Dan Powell photograph collection, PH297_ML_03_01, Special
Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon, Eugene,
Oregon 97403-1299. All rights are reserved.