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Santa Barbara

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Photographer John Chervinsky works for Harvard University’s Rowland Institute for Science, but at home in his attic studio he wrestles with the purely poetic. His themes are explored through perspective and optics, executed as ephemeral sculptures and drawings that are photographed for the final result. The style of the images seems to fall somewhere between that of photographer Zeke Berman and artist Joseph Cornell. Chervinsky’s current show at the Wall Space Gallery in Santa Barbara, California, “Experiment in Perspective” runs through the end of June, 2011. Chervinsky writes about his process:

“My exploration begins in my attic studio. In it are a pair of slate blackboards; they are illuminated with a single window aided by reflecting panels. One of the boards is placed in the vertical plane, the other in the horizontal. A large format view camera points toward their line of intersection and records chalk markings, combined with real objects. I employ a mixed media approach with found and constructed objects as sculptural elements, while using chalk drawing as a spatial tool. I use Polariod Type 55 film because it produces an instant positive (for proofing) and a high-quality negative for scanning and printing.”

The idea for the above image “Abstract Implosionism” came while listening to a friend who told of a late-night game of “golf” played in a barn, containing a large stock of surplus fluorescent tubes. Chervinsky says: I do sometimes think about the idea of violence, and wonder if it is closer to the surface than we care to admit. Whether we are firing a gun, serving a tennis ball or slapping paint against a canvas, it seems to be an urge that we have to exercise again and again – but we seem to do so in play, as much as we do in anger. It seems to come out in art, music and sporting events. Maybe we’ll evolve to the point where it will only be expressed constructively.”

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