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Stephen PetegorskyThis work is about time, memory, change, and mortality. I am interested in combining the fleeting quality of moments I experience with photography’s ability to suspend images. These pieces are also inspired by old photographs and paintings whose original connotations often change as their surfaces deteriorate over time.
Gold Leaf Work
As I go through a day - when I walk, when I watch my son, when I drive around – images accumulate in my mind from all that I have noticed. These images, lodged in my memory, seem to undergo changes as time passes and they settle in to my brain. Salient features are recalled; context and certain details may be lost. Some images stay specific, while others become more general. These pieces are attempts to materialize the mental images that evolve as thoughts, feelings, and associations are added to what it was I originally saw.
I start with snapshots or digital images, edit them in Photoshop, and print them in black and white with an inkjet printer. Those prints are then copied onto 4"x5" Polaroid Type 59 film. Once dry, the Polaroid emulsion is then lifted by immersing the print in hot water, and finally transferred onto boards that have been gilded. The boards are first coated with colored clay, which acts as a support and underpainting for the gold leaf. Each piece is unique, and up to five versions of each image may be made.