John Chiara - Photographs Day Sale New York Thursday, April 2, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, California

  • Catalogue Essay

    In contrast with the majority of contemporary photographers who have embraced the digital camera for its lightweight design and instant gratification, American photographer John Chiara prefers his own hand-built, oversized camera to create his landscapes. The artist’s camera, which measures approximately 50 x 80 inches and is similar in format to a 19th century daguerreotype box camera, is transported on a flat-bed trailer to each location to produce his unique large scale prints. Once the truck is situated, Chiara climbs inside the camera and sits in complete darkness while manipulating the amount of light that enters the lens as images are recorded directly onto oversize photosensitive paper. This labor intensive technique, which often requires a full day for a single image, allows him to simultaneously shoot and execute his darkroom work. Chiara’s approach is as much about performance as it is about photography and results in images that exude a strong resemblance to watercolor paintings with soft faded hues that give a sense of a mysterious, fleeting presence. Through his uncommon practice, Chiara pushes the boundaries of the photographic medium and takes a traditional subject matter and transforms it into a luminous, abstract and almost haunting vision, which has the power to leave the viewer in a state of daydream.


Old River Road at Seven Chimneys

Unique dye destruction print.
34 1/4 x 28 in. (87 x 71.1 cm)
Signed, dated in ink and printed title on a label affixed to the backing board.

$4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for $8,750

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs

Shlomi Rabi
Head of Sale, New York

General Enquiries:
+1 212 940 1245

Photographs Day Sale

New York 2 April 2015 10am & 2pm