ARTIST STATEMENT 2006 - by William (Bill) Marder
Most people associate Fine Art with a laborious hand-applied medium, such as oil on canvas, and designate photography as a Kodak moment instantly preserved. Some people argue that photographs can never be art because they are taken, not made; but I believe that a great photograph is every bit as much a work of art as a great drawing, painting, or sculpture. When working on my photographs I often think about the original meaning for the word Photography, Drawing with Light. In Fine Art Photography, one makes a photograph, not simply takes it. Photography has empowered me to examine an inner spirit that has been struggling to find a way to express itself. My own creativity has emerged through my own personal growth - both spiritually and emotionally.
Photography has enabled me to learn its history as well as the techniques of various processes, all-adding to my stages of growth. When I started experimenting in 1998 with digital, this was only the latest of a large number of photographic processes. I have printed with many materials and different processes over the years including carbro, dye transfer, diffusion, platinum, and silver. In my first Artist Statement in 1999 I claimed, We are now entering a new phase of photography where a thin line remains dividing the artist and photographer. As I started to learn digital technology I embraced the new technology and discovered it takes me a lot longer to create a finished image. Taking the photograph is only the first step inallowing the fusion of fine art technique with photographic imagery. I am not talking about mechanical methods of applying art filters or utilizing the computer to make it look artistic. I realize there are two forms emerging from this new digital electronic process. A number of both artists and photographers with the use of a camera, scanner, computer and software programs are now creating a new type of art. This has led to the expression computer generated art. Many like myself can do both methods but I focus primarily on my original photograph, only utilizing this new digital process as a means to break away from the darkroom, enlarger and the messy chemicals that devastated our environment. The digital process is only a present phase in our vast history of photography and art.
Many of our past great photographers utilized hundreds of processes and enhancements to create their photograph. My own creativity with the use of the camera differs in that it begins when I arrange my subject, lighting and composition and press the button on my camera. As a photographer my use of the computer and printer is now both an artistic tool and a method to develop my final photograph, so as to create a unique mood that is almost hypnotic to the viewer. This is how our world's greatest photographers have used photography since its beginnings. Only great artists can make great paintings or great photographers can make great photographs.