Saturday, October 17, 2009

Momentum Artist: Russell Herrera, Jr.

Russell Herrera, Jr., Tulsa

Gypsy Baby

Archival Digital B&W Print

Q: What was your concept behind your work?

RH: The piece selected for Momentum Tulsa 2009 is titled Gypsy Baby. It is one photograph from a series: Ground. The series consists of 21 photographs of the ground, a very simple and seemingly mundane subject; yet, upon further investigation infinitely diverse and intriguing. I observed how often it is that one looks at the ground as he travels, but how lightly one appreciates, sincerely notices what supports him. This realization led me to admire the never-ending surfaces on which we live. One’s head should never hang in defeat but adoration for the ground.

Q: Explain the technique and/or process you used for the piece.

RH: For the photograph Gypsy Baby, I used a 4MP Canon Powershot A520 camera on manual setting (a consumer grade point-and-shoot digital camera). My concern is not for the photograph to reproduce the subject with exact detail and sharpness, but to produce a new object that is visually and emotionally stimulating. The photograph was taken at a distance to conceal to the viewer the initial realization that it is only a photograph of the ground. Doing this allows the viewer to engage the piece and take it intellectually wherever he feels. The size of the print is slightly larger than life-size to further emphasize the ground's importance. The photograph was printed in black and white so color would not distract the viewer from appreciating the dimensionality.

Momentum Tulsa 2009 includes visual art by artists aged 30 and younger. The exhibition is free and open at Living Arts, 307 E Brady, Tulsa, until October 24. Gallery hours are through 5 pm TODAY.

Curators Scott Perkins & Frank Wick selected 93 artworks by 66 artists from all over the state for the exhibition. Also, three Spotlight artists created bodies of work on display, Nick Bayer, Dustin Boise, and Emily Kern. Intern Ashley Romano interviewed the artists to learn about their creative process. Watch for more profiles throughout the run of the exhibition.

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