Texture, Shapes, Color & Fun

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Photo Nouveau
Photo Nouveau was started in 2012 by a few photographers who were attracted to each other’s work. Although very different in style, their work has one common characteristic: it is out of the ordinary. 

Who are they, and what does Photo Nouveau represent to them?

Misho is an artist, the curator and owner of the Misho Gallery in San Francisco. Since 2009, he has held solo shows with his photographs in San Francisco, Buenos Aires and in his native Switzerland.  His pictures can be seen in the lobby of various buildings in downtown San Francisco, including the Public Utilities building.

When people ask me what Photo Nouveau means to me, I am reminded of people asking me if they can touch my photo, because they have a hard time believing it is a photograph. Photo Nouveau is about creating Art. It is where the aesthetic and the feelings expressed become more important than the tools and the techniques.

Xavier Phelp is a full-time artist, and the visual arts have been a lifelong occupation. He has worked in a number of media, including oils, acrylics, watercolours, mixed media, kinetic art and constructions.  Currently he concentrates on fine art photography, and mixed media based on this photography. 

Photo Nouveau is primarily concerned with the emotional and intellectual effect of a work on the viewer.  A work is to be judged on the basis of the artists intentions (pure aesthetics, social/political content, composition, use of color, etc.) and the artist’s success in realizing those intentions.  The emotional and cerebral response of the informed viewer is paramount: a work may be calming, stimulating, disquieting, repulsive; and it may be explanatory, exciting, provoking, revelatory.  For me, this is the core concern of Photo Nouveau.  

Lennell Allen emphasizes natural light, long exposures with a tripod, and images that suggest, rather than replicate, an object. Her work is subtle and calm, the colors subdued, whether she is focusing on blue bottles with whimsical reflections or the rolling ocean at sunset. She paints with light.

Photography becomes an exploration, searching for images that suggest rather than depict, a scene. A camera, a tripod, long exposures, and time to paint the waves onto a screen with light: Later I discover how the waves and light have transformed the landscape.

Wendell Shinn is particularly attracted by the spontaneous energy of urban images and the multiple layering of window reflections where images are often ambiguous. His recent forays into photo montages or “compositing” capture the energy of diverse environments in a landscape where Salvador Dali meets Walt Disney.   

Joining the Photo Nouveau Group gives me the perfect home for these endeavors and has become a mecca of kindred spirits who inspire me to develop my evolving experiments with composites and photo montage. 

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