Self Re-Defined by Richard Olderman

I am so happy to introduce you to Richard Olderman's work. He is the reason I pursued photography. He is not only a fabulous teacher and person, but also an amazing photographer, offering up the magic in the natural world. You will need to visit his website to check out his multitude of portfolios...For this blog, I would like to share his self portraits which are some of the most amazing creative transformations.

Here are some excerpts from a review from an exhibition at the Evanston Art Center...

"In the current exhibition Focus: The Self Re-Defined, artist Richard Olderman takes viewers on a surprising exploration of the self and nature; a journey of self discovery. Curated by Evanston Art Center Director Michele Rowe-Shields, Focus: The Self Re-Defined, Recent Photographs by Richard Olderman presents 22 of Olderman's manipulated, silver gelatin prints. This handtinted series incorporates a group of early black and white self-portraits taken around 1980 with more recent black and white images from nature and cemeteries. Olderman superimposes the two images and then applies a variety of creative
techniques to the print itself, such as adding color and toner or bleaching, scratching and scraping the print. His work deals with a number of issues such as confrontation of the self, transformation, birth, death, coming and going.

" I have always had a fairly comfortable fascination with cemeteries and death. Death in the sense that it's the end of one thing, but is also the start of something new. With this new series it's like scraping away the layers and something new coming out of the ashes," explains Olderman.

In Olderman's earlier portraits he confronts the camera by directly facing the camera without pretense. This process comes out of a need to document a difficult and unsettled time in his life." In combination with his more recent images, the results are stunning. The handtinting is exquisite, the images mysterious and provocative, " says Rowe-Shields. "Richard's remarkable
photographs express the essence of self-portraiture as self discovery. Through his personal struggle and exploration of the self and nature, he portrays a layered reality evoking a spiritual dimension and dramatically capturing his inner sense of being."