Adam Katseff

Project | Adam Katseff: Rivers and Falls

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Artist’s statement.

The subjects of my recent work are at the same time familiar and elusive. The outline of the image is easy to see – one can quickly conjure the lake, the river, the waterfall standing out against the dark background – but, as with memory, our imagination must supply the rest. This is the goal of my current series; to present the viewer with a partial landscape and invite them to compose the rest themselves. In this way the images become at once universal and deeply personal; an exploration of the line between physical space and our psychological relationship to it. Each viewer must invest their own experience, their own subconscious into the work to make it whole, and each comes away with an impression based partly in reality, and partly of their own creation.

To capture all of the detail and nuance present in the scene I shoot with an 8×10” camera. The resulting negative is so rich in detail that it allows me to make prints up to 6’ x 9’ at full fidelity. It is these details which emerge slowly from the darkness of the photographs to draw the viewer in. They may look completely black from a distance, but close up you can count every leaf on every tree. At large scale, the rich detail which emerges as the viewer’s eye begins to adjust creates a feeling of immersion within the work. This feeling alongside the personal connection each viewer builds with the images, speaks to a truth hidden behind everyday observation – a sense that what colors our experience is not merely a landscape, a waterfall, or a river, but something greater, something more.

© Images and text: Adam Katseff.

Artist’s website:

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Click on any picture below to look at the project. Full screen mode is recommended.

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