David Scheinbaum: Kalós
Two weeks ago, I was teaching a workshop in Santa Fe and brought the participants to see the latest offering at the Verve Gallery of Photography. It was a terrific show, featuring Norman Mauskopf’s American Triptychs, Tony O’Brien’s Sketches from Syria, and David Scheinbaum‘s Kalós. I was immediately intrigued by David’s presentation of 8×10 paper negatives, housed in their carriers and framed.
As David states: My photography has always been an attempt to produce works that are a marriage between technique and visualization. Photographing in a time where the photographic process and equipment have gotten more complex and focused on technical capabilities, I have been striving for simplicity in image making. Without ignoring the advances of digital technologies, it has been artistically freeing for me to return to my 8×10 camera and explore one of the earliest and basic photographic inventions.
Many of his images were portraits of film cameras, also mounted in 8 x10 carriers. His exhibition continued with framed negative prints, a nod to advertising photography from the 1960’s.
David is former Director/Chair of the Photography Department at the Marion Center for Photographic Arts at the Santa Fe University of Art & Design, and Professor Emeritus, College of Santa Fe. His photographs of New Mexico’s Bisti Badlands can be found in his book Bisti, published by the University of New Mexico Press, 1987. In 1990, Florida International University Press published Miami Beach: Photographs of an American Dream. In 2006, the Museum of New Mexico Press published Stone: A Substantial Witness.
He and his wife, Janet Russek, have collaborated on two projects; Ghost Ranch: Land of Light, Photographs by David Scheinbaum and Janet Russek, Balcony Press, 1997, and Images in the Heavens, Patterns on the Earth: The I Ching, The Museum of New Mexico Press, 2005.
His most recent publication, Hip Hop: Portraits of an Urban Hymn, was released in November 2013 by Damiani Editore. This work was featured at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in February, 2008. David worked with the preeminent photo historian Beaumont Newhall from 1978 until Newhall’s death in 1993. With his wife, Janet Russek, he operates Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd., private fine art photography dealers and consultants in Santa Fe, New Mexico and exclusively represents the estate of Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, and Eliot Porter.
Scheinbaum has exhibited internationally, and is represented in many museum collections including The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; The National Portrait Gallery/The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; and The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas, Austin.
Calotype from the Greek “Kalós + type” meaning “beautiful picture” are also known as Talbotypes, named after their inventor William Henry Fox Talbot who announced the invention in 1840 and later secured a patent in England on February 8, 1841. Calotype refers to the paper negative image exposed in the Camera Obscura, (Latin- Dark Chamber), and later developing out the Latent Image.
Although I am working with modern chemistry and equipment, quite different from Talbot, my Calotype paper negatives are unique one-of-a-kind images. They are exposed on paper in an 8×10” view camera, chemically developed, and then toned for both permanence and effect. The larger prints are archivally made from digital scans of these negatives and are printed in an edition of three.
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