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Water | 2016 with Juror Richard McCabe

Life on earth is made possible because of water. The surface of the Earth is over 75% water. Human blood is over 90% water. Mankind’s complex and interconnected relationship with water makes for unlimited possibilities for photographic exploration. Water can sustain human life and it can destroy cities. Issues of water rights, droughts, hurricanes, and rising sea levels permeate the headlines. Water 2016 features many varied and diverse approaches to the visualization of water in contemporary photography.

Water is very photogenic. It can be opaque or translucent, textured or smooth, it can be still or moving; it shimmers and reflects light. Water can be photographed from above and below its surface. Its colors and tonal range change with temperature and light. There were 1745 photographs submitted for this exhibition, editing down that number to the 55 photographs included in the exhibition was a difficult and fun task. I tried to choose work that best exemplified the complexity of water’s relationship with life on earth, the human condition, and most of all with the art of photography.

Sadaf_Rassoul_Cameron_Syrian_Light-1-630x420Syrian Light, Sadaf Rassoul Cameron

When I think about in the representation of water within the context of fine art photography over the past three decades – Thomas Joshua Cooper, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Sally Mann come to mind. These three photographers represent water stylistically in different ways, yet water is central thematically in their photographic practice and represents a meditative, sublime, mythological, and otherworldly aspect of their work. The photographers included in Water 2016 continue in that trajectory, approaching the subject of water through many different perspectives – from subjective abstraction to objective documentary style imagery. The liquid landscape or Seascape was popular. As was the figure within a watery landscape – a form of environmental portraiture. Most images were direct objective straight documentary like nature photographs, yet some photographers chose a more metaphorical, indirect, and sometime humorous approach to the subject. Technically, a wide range of photographic processes were employed from traditional black-and-white and color film-based work to digital imagery and 19th century alternative processes.

Taking into consideration the representation of water in the history of art, I thought mostly about painting – the art form that has had the most profound influence on the visual aesthetic of photography. The paradoxical representation of water in painting – dramatic, beautiful, brooding and dangerous – filled with metaphorical implications the in paintings of J.M.W. Turner and Francisco Goya. The sensual, idyllic, and exotic depiction of the human figure in a natural watery environment was essential in the paintings of Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse. Also, the bright colors and playful nature of David Hockney’s swimming pool paintings of the 1960s.

Richard McCabe

JUROR |  Richard McCabe
After receiving an MFA from Florida State University in 1998, Richard McCabe has worked with numerous art galleries, museums and universities including The International Center for Photography, Robert Miller Gallery, El Museo del Barrio and the Pratt Institute. In 2010, Richard became the Curator of Photography at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has curated over 20 exhibitions in the past five years including – Eudora Welty: Photographs from the 1930s and 40s, The Mythology of Florida, Mark Steinmetz: South, Self-Processing: Instant Photography, The Rising, and Seeing Beyond the Ordinary.

An international audience of collectors, curators, art consultants and other advocates of fine art photography will view the chosen artist’s work throughout the exhibition. All chosen artists are invited to complimentary portfolio reviews, lunch and portfolio sharing on the reception weekend. Each participant is included in the Center’s Main Gallery exhibition in Fort Collins, Colorado and Online Gallery exhibition.

Juror’s Selection: Thomas Ladd
Juror’s Honorable Mention Awards: Geoffrey Agrons, Candace Okada, Jen Ervin, Caterino Pacieleo, and Frank Hamrick

Director’s Selection: S. Gayle Stevens

Director’s Honorable Mention Awards: Thomas Ladd, Autumn Moran, Karen Cohen, Taly Oehler, and Robert Atwater

Red-Rain-1-495x495Red Rain, Taly Oehler

Founded in 2004 by photographers, The Center for Fine Art Photography is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) photography organization. We provide support to photographic artists through exhibition, promotion, portfolio reviews, publication, education and connection to a large community of other artists, curators, gallery owners and photographic professionals. Open Tues-Sat, Free.


Exhibition Dates | October 7th – 29th, 2016
Public + Artists’ Reception | October 7th, 6-8 pm

Acceptance Notice: Everyone who submits will receive an email notification of which images were accepted. Accepted images will be posted on the Center’s website.

USE RIGHTS: Each artist retains all copyrights to their own images. Artist’s recognition is provided with any use. By submission for jurying, artists whose submissions are chosen for the exhibition grant The Center for Fine Art Photography the right to use their images for the purpose of promoting the artist, promoting the Center’s programs, promoting exhibitions and subsequent display on the Center’s website of current and past exhibitions. Promotions and images may also be placed on social networks for The Center for Fine Art Photography with artist credit. Artists grant the use of their image(s) as stated without further contact or compensation from the Center.

Visit: http://www.c4fap.org  |  Email: coordinator@c4fap.org 970.224.1010 | Closed Sunday and Monday

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