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Photochemical Art Drips With Strange Noir

Artist Kathleen Kaplan

By Staff writer, 2011-12-02
Itís always worth taking a trip to the Center Gallery in the Downtown Community Center to see the latest exhibit. Photographic artist Kathleen Kaplanís creations have now replaced the extraordinary inventions of previous artist Dan Benedict.

This display is also extraordinary, but in another way. Kathleen explained how she discovered that in the developing process she could make the hues drip. And as she explains below, her fascination with aliens and black and white took on a new spin. In her own words Ö

It all began while taking photography classes at the local community center, Irvine Fine Art Center. Unaware of the adventures waiting for me I welcomed the conventional rules for developing pristine black and white photographs. As I continued advanced studies of this art form at Irvine Valley College I experimented with various other processes. Re-exposing and redeveloping my photographs with selective bleaching took the place of the clean disciplined manner of my previous darkroom activities.

In this exhibition it is shown that the "old school" of black and white darkroom techniques may not be so much viewed a dinosaur from the past, but for some, rather a newly discovered phenomena. As I played the mad scientist with chemical 'potions' traditional photographic development accompanied a twist in its process which introduced my brand of "photochemical painting." As colossal crustaceans, prehistoric creatures and enduring celestial beings find a place in my compositions you can see that science fiction cinema from the fifties plays an important role in my inspiration.

Those films seem comical as we look back. The childish production sets of space craft interiors were usually equipped with only a wall meter, neon light and desk chair manned by a commando with no previous training. Among these amusing tableaux I found the most beautiful and poetic statements in their dialogue.

"Time Warp Exposures" is a collection of selected images at various stages of perfecting the process along with my latest endeavors.

The short program and reception was introduced by Cathy Glasgow (City of Anaheim Community Services) and Alone Larson (Cultural and Heritage Commission). Artists and friends joined with members from the Anaheim Arts Council for a cheese and wine reception.

Pianist Jerry Garvin provided delightful music as we mulled over the wine and photos.

The Exhibition may be seen in the Downtown Community Center for the next few weeks.



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