Stan Sherer continues to reinvent himself, venturing beyond the safety of his proven methods of making art into new territories of risk and vulnerability. Over 45 years, Sherer’s work has evolved from black-and-white film photography to digital imaging, now combined with printmaking, color, and abstraction.
The images in Sherer’s series Printographs are grounded in earth and jewel tones at once elemental, atmospheric, and painterly. Many of the images offer little or no visual foothold. Though we may glimpse an arm, a whelk, a face, other objects are concealed beneath layers of visual noise, texture, and abstraction. In Plate #12 we can recognize a fragment of an icon painting under a pattern of fan-shaped lines. The effect is of a seemingly vulnerable figure just out of reach, somehow rendered more magnificent, the power of its gesture and gentle gaze undiminished.
Just as we can draw meaning in our own lives from the layers of our experience, so can we glean from the strata of these “printographs” a narrative of Stan Sherer’s life as an artist—as if he has turned the camera on himself to record his own passion for his craft. What a privilege to be able to share in this artistic voyage. — Tim Allen, Guest Curator
Through most of my career, my images reflected my endless fascination with how people live and what they do. For years I worked with black-and-white film. Experimenting with digital imaging in the late 1980s stimulated my interest in other means of rendering my photographic images.
In 2003 I began to study printmaking and became increasingly attuned to papers, inks, and surfaces. To my surprise, I also became interested in color and abstraction, and for the first time began experimenting with color and collage. I have since been exploring ways to bring photography and printmaking closer together. In this series I incorporate a traditional plate-printed image into each digital print, giving the surface a woven, highly textured quality.
While I have not lost interest in photographing people, I am photographing new subjects and inventing new forms, pushing my art making well beyond my familiar framework. This new work no longer fits into categories that have, for me, traditionally defined photography. — Stan Sherer