Art and politics often go hand in hand. A Bay Area friend, while working on the Obama campaign in Palo Alto, told me she met a wonderful person who also happens to be a photographer, named Toiya Black. It turns out that Toiya exhibits with one of my favorite galleries, Modernbook Gallery in Palo Alto. Toiya Black has a couple of exquisite bodies of work ready to exhibit at the gallery. A semi-late comer to photography, Toiya says “It wasn’t until my mid-30s that I first studied photography, on almost a whim to satisfy an accounting degree elective. From that moment on, my relationship with the medium consumed me, and my accounting career was abandoned.
Through the lens I discovered beauty and light, simplicity and grace that had never existed for me before. Photography forced me to see, study and embrace what we so quickly take for granted every day. Inspired by the photojournalistic images of Gordon Parks, I learned to look beneath the surface, stripping away distracting details to reveal natural truths; and the emotional attachments this produced guided me to my latest two series: “Perspectives” and most recently “Succulents”.
For both series I applied the Zone system, to first visualize the final image then expose and develop the negative accordingly. Printed by hand with no digital manipulation, these gelatin silver prints truthfully balance light and shadow.
Shooting with a Hasselblad medium-format camera in only natural light allows me to capture the essence of my subjects. The resulting images return me to the simple solace of the natural world, and narrate my perspectives on the everyday beauty all around us.”
And I’m visualizing the beauty of my friend’s and Toiya’s efforts coming to fruition on November 4th.
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.
Wendi Schneider: Evenings with the MoonOctober 3rd, 2019
Eating Flowers: Sensations of Cig HarveySeptember 27th, 2019
Emma Kisiel: Real EnoughJuly 9th, 2019
Al Brydon: SolargraphsMarch 27th, 2019