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Jerry UelsmannSince the late 1950s, Jerry Uelsmann has been manipulating the traditional photograph to create surreal and startling images that seem to tap into our collective unconscious. To a large degree, the images that resonate most with the world are truly aspects of Uelsmann himself. His wit, his passion and his sorrow are all bound up within his work. Throughout his career, Uelsmann has dealt with themes of love, life and death.
Just as he carries these themes throughout his work, there are also very recognizable motifs that are found over and over again. Perhaps one of the most pervasive motifs used are trees. Within the work, trees take on several roles. They can connote a mythic past, sexuality, spirituality, or the dialogue between man and nature. And perhaps less well known, they appear in some of Jerry’s more playful and humorous works such as "Little Hamburger Tree," 1970.
Many of Uelsmann’s images evoke an archetypal quality, thereby claiming a sort of universality. Yet the trees that Uelsmann has photographed, are individual trees that he has encountered on his travels or around his home in northern Florida. Just as our dreams borrow elements from our daily experiences, Uelsmann transforms his experiences into something beyond this world.
Natalie Cisneros and Beth Hinrichs