ARTISANworks began collecting photography more than 20 years ago. It holds thousands of works that constitute an important collection of modern and contemporary photography. As diverse as photography itself, the collection includes work not only by artists, but also by journalists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and amateurs.
Richard Quataert, a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology,began his career at Eastman Kodak Company. While there, he established himself in both still photography and motion picture/video. As a cinematographer, he filmed commercials, industrials, travel features and documentaries. But it was in shooting stills that he found a means of personal expression and a creative direction for his life.
After retiring, Richard developed his signature vision: using black and white infrared film to explore the natural world — landscapes, and the physical world — the nude. In pursuit of the evocative image, he experimented in the darkroom, double printing the nude with pictorial elements ranging from classical art, musical instruments and graphic patterns. The result was a serious of eight portfolios, each comprised of 12 images.
Richard’s work continued to evolve, whether to reveal the similarity of form between a nude and a landscape…or refine the body to an abstraction of line and light…or play with urban scenes projected onto a nude ‘observer.’
Always seeking to enhance the power and intensity of the image in new ways, Richard introduced his latest work in a solo show titled The Arresting Image at ARTISANworks,his primary gallery,in 2014. To produce these dramatically emotive pieces,he applied acrylic paint and stitched photographic fragments directly onto the surface of his original black and white prints.
Richard’s photographs can be seen at ARTISANworks in Rochester, NY, the Udinotti Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ and online at artisandirectltd.net. His book, Body of Work, a pairing of nude photography and original poems, is sold with an original print; it can be purchased at ARTISANworks.
The Arresting Image
Richard Quataert’s body of work titled The Arresting Image marks a significant new direction in his journey of creative expression. Previously, his signature vision was achieved primarily through darkroom manipulation. In this works, he artfully applies paint and stitchery onto original black and white photographs. The fusion results in dramatically emotive images.
Painting on photographs may seem like a bold idea, when in fact, the 150-year old history of photography is rife with blending the two media, often for cosmetic effect. But it would be a mistake to assume Richard’s purpose is simply decorative embellishment. Instead, his interests in the heightened presence of the image, in its intensity and physicality. What gives the new work its haunting power is the tension between the photograph that comes from the world of reality and the painting that comes from the world of imagination…and the unique visual interplay between the two. Then, to further deepen the textural content of selected prints, Richard stitches photographic fragments directly onto the painted surface.
This layering produces striking picture-making, often reminiscent of dream imagery. The compelling pieces tap into broad range of experience — from lyrical, to mysterious, to foreboding. For Richard, this is another step in his pursuit of the arresting image, one that can elicit an emotional response from the viewer.