Monday, May 30, 2011

►Maggie Taylor - Vision of reality

►Maggie Taylor (born 1961 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an artist who works with digital images. She won the Santa Fe Center for Photography's Project Competition in 2004. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe and is represented within the permanent collections of several galleries and museums. She is the third wife of American photographer, Jerry Uelsmann.
She produces prints by scanning objects into a computer using a flatbed scanner, then layering and manipulating these images using Adobe Photoshop surrealistic montage. 

Using 19th century photographs and images, Maggie Taylor (1961) scanned them on a flatbed scanner, she is able to create a unique type of digital image which has some photographic qualities.Her work evolved from black-and-white suburban landscapes to more personal and narrative color still-life imagery. Using an old camera and natural light, she photographed bits and pieces of the everyday:old toys, broken bottles...

Maggie Taylor began her career as a photographer by making still lifes with a 4x5" view camera. In 1995 she began using the computer as a retouching tool for her images, scanning her 4x5 negatives. When she realized she could place objects right on the scanner and not deal with film, camera, or darkroom chemistry, she fell in love with the idea. Except for an occasional digital capture of elements that prove difficult to scan, Maggie has almost completely stopped using a camera.
One thing that makes her work different from many other computer artists, is that most others are interested in creating images that have a layered quality, where there are a lot of transparent layers. There might be text over a black and white image or over a colored background. Maggie tends to avoid making this kind of image. She creates what she would want to paint a believable scene that doesn't have a lot of visible layers. Although she uses multiple layers to construct the images, she strives not to have a the layers apparent. 
She feels it is best to leave as many options open as possible when working on an image. She makes great use of masks, preferring not to use an eraser around the edge of an object. "I'd rather make a layer mask and work on trimming something or getting rid of the edges using the layer mask, then I haven't destroyed anything or thrown anything away. Definitely, if you are using a scanner it is good to become adept at using a layer mask." 
An integral part of her technique is to place one object on top of another, taking two layers and playing with the blend mode, seeing what kind of subtle, or not so subtle, changes she can achieve with two images interacting with different blend modes.
She is often asked, what is this new media? Is it a photograph or is it a painting? According to Maggie it's something in between. It's not photography and it's not painting. She prints her images on matt surface paper with a slight texture so they look more like a printmaker's work, or like a painted image, rather than a photograph. She intentionally stays away from glossy paper and luster surface so her prints exhibit a tactile quality.
"Making images for me is a way of life. I can't imagine not doing it...I guess in terms of what motivates me, the best answer would be, if I don't make images I'm unhappy."- M.Taylor

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