Just Suppose . . .
I have been a fan of Maggie Taylor‘s work for quite some time. Her images, which are created by using a flatbed scanner and Adobe Photoshop, have been exhibited all over the United States and abroad. A few months ago, she and her husband, Jerry Uelsmann (a famous photographer), had an exhibition at the University Gallery, University of Florida (UF), Gainesville, Fla. (May 16 to August 8, 2008). It was called “Just Suppose . . .” I am so grateful that the Internet allows me access, digitally, to places I have not or cannot visit in the flesh!
If that taster made you hungry for more, here is a pdf document about their images. You can also listen to Taylor and Uelsmann discuss their “visual quests” during an interview with George Jardine. I was especially interested in their take on techniques versus ideas. As Jerry said, teaching people your techniques does not impart your source of ideas to them; that can only come from a personal integration of one’s life and art, which is your source, and unique for every person. When you tap into that source, “the best that can happen is to amaze yourself. You can’t sit down and imagine what this image is going to be. The journey is part of the goal; the joy of having an image build.”
Maggie is always “sampling” in order to build her images. She uses those samples from the real world and “weaves them together” in Photoshop. Intense layering integrates all the images, sometimes using as many as 80 layers!
Adobe Press describes Maggie Taylor’s Landscape of Dreams as follows:
Maggie Taylor’s digital photo collages have been described as a contemporary exploration of the Surrealist world view. In Taylor’s strange, parallel universe, birds ride bicycles, ideas materialize in the shape of clouds, and wings sprout from the backs of prim Victorian women. Starting with objects that she finds on eBay, in flea markets, and in her own surroundings, Taylor then uses her flatbed scanner, Adobe Photoshop, and an Iris printer, to produce images of surprising beauty and emotional impact. Adobe Photoshop Master Class: Maggie Taylor’s Landscape of Dreams offers a close and richly illustrated examination of Taylor’s practice, tracing her images from inspiration through execution. Taylor explains her influences, both in art and in her own life, and takes the reader inside the making of some of her intriguing, painterly work. Along the way, we hear from respected artists and critics familiar with Taylor’s work, and from the artist herself, in conversation with the author. Illustrated with more than 65 color plates, Landscape of Dreams is essential reading (and viewing) for all those interested in applying technology to a creative personal vision.
Just in case you are itching to see more, here are additional links:
*Chris Dunmire ponders over the age-old debate: “What is art?”while considering Taylor’s images
*Weston Gallery presents a collection of Taylor’s work, which she hopes, in the Artist Statement, is “both playful and disturbing.”
*Lanoue Fine Art shows a great collection of Taylor’s work. It was here that I learned she also scans her own small pastel drawings and uses them as backgrounds in her work.
*John Cleary Gallery has a nice collection of Taylor’s Almost Alice images.
*Kathryn Pagano is a freelance artist/photographer who says that Taylor has had a large effect on her own artwork.
*Serena Fenton believes that “Taylor has managed to successfully straddle the line between fine and commercial art.”
*Brightcove provides movie of Taylor talking about her work. It’s wonderfully revealing: she says she got “a little overloaded on Alice.”
*Shutterbug has an interview with Ueslmann, where he states that his wife Maggie is “a wonderful image-maker. We both actively engage in the image-making process, and work a seven-day week. It’s not uncommon for her to be at the computer and me to be in the darkroom many evenings.”
I’ll stop there. For a visual feast, put Maggie Taylor in the search string of Google and go to images. Ahhhh, now just suppose I could actually meet her!