Recent Work (2022-2024)
ORIGIN sidesteps the obligatory ‘retrospective’ that appears in many artists’ later years.
Materials used in these works were created up to fifty years ago [ST 1974 (my father)] often combined with new works. For the past five years the techniques of ‘blending’ and ‘compositing’ photographs (original digital images and/or scans from film-based photographs) have been included in the digital photography courses Taxel teaches at the Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) Art Studios. There are two examples of works in this show that came directly out of the experimental photography he does for his courses.
Except for one piece [Go Piss Girl (2021)], none of these works (or their components) have been viewed in public or published before. Most were initially conceived during an intense two-week period by Taxel in the late spring of 2023.
These images are unexpected, that is, an unexpected turn in Taxel’s fine art picture making, as he is known best for his landscape, still life and portrait works. Taxel has been dipping his toes in this approach for some time now- at least several years. He uses contemporary techniques to achieve effects that are commonly and historically practiced in fine art. Today these practices are called blends, montage, collage and composites. In this show Taxel blends works that are made minutes, hours, days, even decades apart. The original photographs that are combined in each work are made with pure photographic principles in mind, such as composition, tonal quality and color balance. That is, the source material is made to stand on its own.
“These works are intentionally intuitive, with an undercurrent of a deliberate exploration of the time and the tempo of spontaneity originating in the subconscious. The blend process appears in the digital editing, as if the combined works have been invited from the subconscious into my awareness.
The themes that have appeared are both familiar and a surprise to me:
⁃ The vulnerability of the body- from the earth and returning to the earth.
⁃ The subjectivity of time- the way years of experience can be digested into a blink or wink.
⁃ The blending of nature’s patterns.
⁃ The perception that there’s a different time reference underneath all of the surface activity of life- an abundance of connections to be discovered.
⁃ The appearance of serendipitous visual relationships that make total sense in a new form.
⁃ Rediscovery of creative purpose.
This body of work is dedicated to Laura Taxel, muse of my life, my wife and subject for this series.”