Photography’s power couple


Jerry Uelsmann, untitled, 2003

Boston gallery Lanoue Fine Art is having an exhibition by a husband and wife who work seperately but with a special serendipity.

Jerry Uelsmann has worked for many decades with his unique photomontage technique. The word photomontage may be inaccurate since he doesn’t cut his prints, he exposes several negatives onto the same sheet of darkroom paper, moving from enlarger to enlarger. The image above is made from at least three negatives, one featuring the hands of his wife Maggie Taylor.


Maggie Taylor, Southern Gothic, nd

Taylor’s whimsical illustrations are very popular and make a neat counterpart to her husband’s work. Always in colour, they express strange little daydreams and surreal fairytales. I envy her for the consistency of her vision which incorporates 19th century photographs with found and painted elements. Her main tool is not a camera or an enlarger but a digital scanner:

I frequent flea markets and search on eBay for old tintypes and toys that seem to have a story to tell. Then in my studio I make small pastel drawings as backgrounds and scan each element into my computer separately. Using Photoshop I am able to arrange and play with these layers in much the same way that I worked with objects in my studio for a still life photograph.


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