Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

July 11, 2018

Middle Ground – Published

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Picture Postcards — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 9:06 pm

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Middle Ground, self-published artist book, edition of 99 copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

Last weekend the publication of the Middle Ground edition was finally completed! Binding the of 99 artist books took a bit longer than anticipated.

Introduction (text not provided in the artist book):

My urban landscape project Middle Ground evolved out my attempts to make some Lemonade. Perhaps not literally. I was commuting from Orange County to San Diego driving south on Interstate-5 freeway and frequently ensnarled in bumper to bumper traffic in North San Diego for a least a half hour of my trip. That part of my commute was a real lemon experience, a stop-n-go traffic condition that left a bitter and unpleasant taste. As part of my artistic practice that I call experimentation/play, I began to use my mobile phone to photograph the adjacent freeway landscape each time I came to a complete stop in traffic as an attempt to create something fun out of an event that was anything but.

As a result of taking the photographs, I was now seeing with clarity an urban landscape that is unique to this section of Interstate-5 as it traverses part of San Diego County. This is a man-built landscape that is usually experienced at speeds of 65+mph while being singularly transfixed on the tail lights of the speeding cars and trucks in front. I quickly came to realize that although San Diego County had planted an extensive landscape barrier between the northbound and southbound freeway to act as a beautiful boundary that over time, this barrier wall had evolved. What I saw was a mash-up of beauty and desolation with an undercurrent of detritus and neglect. A serendipitous element of chance in this project is that I had little control over when the traffic would come to a complete stop to briefly reveal the adjacent landscape.

Intrigued by what I was capturing, I made a decision to upgrade my investigation of this unique landscape to the use a full frame DSLR, with the lens focal length set at the approximate wide angle view of my mobile phone. I had shifted into the next phase of the development of this project.

With my cognitive shift I started investigating the elements of the morning light, which shaped the landscape masses while revealing tantalizing details that had gone unnoticed before. Likewise I found myself drawn to the layers of this urban landscape; the foreground k-rail (Jersey Wall) and vegetation, a mix of planned bushes and wild weeds, the opposing traffic that could be brief seen and heard, the adjacent homes and businesses in close proximity to this roadway as well as how the landscape extended beyond. I also began to notice the mysterious gaps in this barrier landscaping, various marks on the barrier walls and the occasional numbers painted on the concrete.

While the project began to evolve I pre-visualized the potential photobook for this project; a leporello book design that would extend out to simulate this barrier wall, which both a K-rail and this book interior extend 21 feet. Another element were adjustments to the composition of each photograph in order that the top line of concrete barrier would create a continuous line though out the book.

The ensuing body of work is meant to appear factual without an agenda, a very banal urban landscape that is normally not noticed or rarely seen. It is a unique urban landscape that I believe is a realistic characterization of Southern California, not idealized images meant to Romanize a southern California for a holiday experience.

Note: this project was started in the summer of 2016, when the United States presidential election was coming to a close and one candidate kept hammering on the need for a bigly wall to be constructed between the United States and Mexico. As of the summer of 2018 after his election, this bigly wall remains to be built.

Artist book information:

Self-published, launch date; May 2018 (concurrent with exhibition at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles, CA)

Stiff covers with flap-over French fold, Leporello (accordion) book design

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Pages: 66 pages (blank verso)

Photographs: 31 Images, color

Printing: 4 color lithographic printing

Leporello binding: hand-bound by the artist

Book design and layout by the artist

Artist book, edition size 99 + 5 A/P

Book trim size: 6-1/2” x 8-1/4” (165mm x 210mm)

Acknowledgements & Colophon, without essays, captions or pagination

Cover paper: 18 pt C1s Tango

Interior paper: 80# GPA Uncoated Text

Text: English and Spanish

Retail price: $59.50 USD

So ping me if you are interested in a copy of this edition ( doug@douglasstockdale.com)

Meanwhile, I am now taking a short break from posting on Singular Images.

Cheers!

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June 20, 2018

Middle Ground – contextualized

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:47 pm

Alternative Crossing

Alternative Crossing, Middle Ground, 2017, copyright Douglas Stockdale

contextualize; the artist intends to explain, justify and extend their body of work. What a gallery will attempt to accomplish with an artist work that might need to be re-positioned as to it’s artistic merit (as being collectible), e.g. a searing war documentary image as an artistic work (“documentary” photographs are not usually considered “artistic” and could be the kiss of death for an artistic body of work)

Part of my reason to reexamine my artistic statement for Middle Ground stems from the feedback during my artist talk at the exhibition closing reception and some comments from book review submissions. Although I see the symbolic potential for this project, most, if not all, do not. Or at least they sense something that they cannot seem to put their finger on. Middle Ground is mainly considered an ambiguous and mysterious urban landscape project.

Thus my underlying concept for this project is perhaps so subtle that it is not being perceived and I need to restate to my “roots” for this project as what pulled me in to want to create this project; I think is a fascinating urban landscape that typifies southern California and this subject is evolving to create a visually diverse and interesting environment.

Perhaps one comment that was made about this project helps place it into perspective, that it is beyond being banal, as this is an urban landscape that is not being noticed. Which I think I agree, these are snapshots of an urban American landscape that we frequently encounter yet remains relatively unseen, perhaps what lends some of the visual mystery to this body of work.

Similar to the recent photographs of the British urban landscape photographer Simon Roberts and those photographers featured in New Topographics, a landscape project with an attempt at a visual neutrality, presented as seemingly factual and in a non-romantic manner that one does not usually associate with an idealized southern California. Perhaps why some reviewers try to pigeon hole this project in the documentary genre.

Maybe why the curiosity about my photographs; I think it triggers a memory without the ability to find a mooring for it. As though there is something vaguely familiar about this urban landscape but lacking an identifiable context.

I still think that my conceptual idea provided the guiding rudder for my editing of the images and how these inspired my artist book’s leporello design. So I am not walking back on this aspect of my project.

In conclusion: an urban landscape study of a unique region of southern California with a mysterious dark undercurrent.

What do ya think?

Also a reminder that my artist book Middle Ground is still available for purchase; message me for more information. And yes, I am continuing to assemble the books with another visit to the post office yesterday for book homes destined in Hong Kong, Spain, Russia and Colorado.

Cheers!

 

 

June 12, 2018

Feedback – Artist talk at Fabrik Projects

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:10 pm

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Douglas Stockdale, Artist talk, Fabrik Projects, photos by Kasey Taylor

Having an opportunity to having an open discussion with those interested in your work is a great chance to create a dialog as well as get some really honest feedback from your work. Really honest. Yes, there was what one person called afterwards a little bit of a “heated discussion” between a couple of individuals who had different takes on this project.

For my part, talking about myself and my project is not the easiest thing to do, makes me a bit nervous, so I did not think that I provided the most eloquent presentation, but almost everyone else thought that my talk and subsequent discussion was very informative. Perhaps this event for me was similar to participating in a portfolio review, except it was live, on-stage and with a whole lot of people involved, all providing input at the same time while I did not have a chance to write notes. A bit intense.

So some take aways:

First and foremost, when asked what others thought that this project was about before I told them about my concept, they almost all agreed; an urban landscape that was mysterious and since they could not figure out the place, ambiguous, and in the consistent way it was presented, very intriguing. They were all really curious and wanted to know more. Which was totally in line with my initial framing and idea for this project. So that was pretty cool!!

Regretfully what no one was talking about was if this body of work could be considered a political parody of the Trumpian Mexico border wall. Or if it could be a metaphor for injustice or political/social/cultural issues rising out of blocking and stopping segregation or other types of impediments. I think that this point underlies one of the issues of conceptual art, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Especially if the concept is abstract enough and the underlying idea is not presented in a way to visually connect the message with the images, which I understood was one of the concerns with my project; it does not shout-out a strong political protest narrative.

Nevertheless, having my underlying concept did help me in how I created this body of work and I believe helped to inform me on the artist book design and layout. I also appreciate that this concept helped me create an intriguing and mysterious body of work.

So some other things that came to light; here in California the concrete structures that are the base of these barriers are called K-rails, while apparently everyone else in America call these structures Jersey Walls or Jersey Barriers. Interesting.

Many of the beautiful blooming plants that I photographed, such as the one on the cover of my artist book, are Oleander, which is actually a very poisonous plant. The physical barrier is actual multi-faceted and more complex than I had realized, thus creating another dimension to my project that I was unaware of. Perhaps another reason for this project appearing mysterious and having another darker dimension and undercurrent as to what appears as beautiful.

All in all, it was a really wonderful opportunity for some interesting feedback on my project, which I appreciated very much. Oh, and if you are now more interested in my artist book, editions are available from Fabrik Projects, Arcana book store (Culver City) or from me.

Cheers!

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June 9, 2018

Middle Ground – featured on New Landscape Photography

Filed under: Art, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 6:42 pm

San Diego Point of Entry

San Diego Point of Entry, Middle Ground, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very happy to announce that yesterday my urban landscape project Middle Ground was featured on New Landscape Photography. Another nice validation of this project and the second time my work has been featured by Willson Cummer on his blog; with my Italian urban landscape project Ciociaria on NLP a few years ago.

Earlier this week I was at Fabrik Projects taking down my exhibition, which is a mix of melancholy and a bit anticlimactic. The show and my time in the sunlight is over for now. I will also have to say that I had not realized that with all of the media shout-outs, press releases, and prepping for & then providing an artist talk, it takes up a lot of personal band width. Perhaps I will dive into the economics of being a mid-career artist (which seems to be the artistic “category” that gallery’s classify me as), but suffice to say, getting an exhibition opportunity is really, really wonderful and I would not want it any other way, but the work by the artist has just begun. Small gallery’s and relatively unknown artist have to collaborate to try to get the attention of the few buying collectors that are out there.

I will provide some more thoughts about the exhibition & going forward with this project over the next few weeks.

Cheers!

May 31, 2018

Featured artist on Artsy

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:15 am

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Marker #169, Middle Ground, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I just found out that I am one of the two “artist of the week” featured on Artsy, one of the web based portals that are used by galleries to promote their represented artist. As a friend of mine stated, Artsy is a different platform on the web, and they act as an aggregator of art from hundreds of galleries.

Artsy claims that they have over 50,000 artist on their searchable data base, and have sub-categories of Emerging Art, Contemporary Chinese Art,  Contemporary Photography, Abstract Sculpture, Post-War European Art (not exactly sure which war), Contemporary Furniture, Post-War American Art, Contemporary Conceptualism, & East Village Art. As you might guess, Artsy is not restricted to just photography. Which is interesting as Fabrik Projects, which now represents me, is a gallery that does not exhibit just photography, but painters and other art media. For me I think that Fabrik Projects is a good fit, as much of my recent photographic based artworks do not seem mesh well with the straight photography-only galleries.

The other aspect of Artsy is that an individual artist/photographer can not gain access to their site and services unless they are represented by a gallery. So it is the gallery owner who makes a decision to have their gallery become an Artsy member, and then their represented artist become part of the Artsy searchable network. So this is another immediate upside to my representation by Fabrik Projects that I had not anticipated. Nice.

What I did not have a say about and now wonder why of the many images that I now have on Artsy as to why they chose the above image as a representational photograph/image. hmmmm.

I had been thinking that I was going to write about the new Artsy representation by Fabrik Projects after my current exhibition closed, but being featured this week sort of changed my priories in discussing this aspect of being a represented artist.

Cheers!!

 

May 29, 2018

Artist talk June 2nd at Fabrik Projects

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Middle Ground exhibition, photograph by Don Webb II

One of the requests that apparently reoccurred during my opening reception is for an artist talk about this exhibition and artist project. The artist talk is now scheduled to coincide with the exhibition closing reception at 4pm on Saturday, June 2nd (2018) at the Fabrik Projects gallery.

To talk about myself and my art projects is not always the easiest thing for me to do. To write about it as I have on this blog is okay, perhaps something I am more comfortable with in that I have an opportunity to develop what I write and the edit before I commit to publishing it. Even then when I have some second thoughts, I can come back and edit what I wrote. I am also very comfortable teaching a workshop about a subject that I am very familiar with, such as my book development class with LACP. Talking about myself and my art projects, perhaps not so much.

What does help if I start taking some notes to outline what I want to convey, then leaving plenty of time for questions and answers. I am going to try to cover the basics about this artist project: what, where, when, how and maybe the most critical; why. I also suspect that this will be a walking talk, not a formal group sit-down, which will help me a little bit more in that it’s a bit easier for me if I can walk and talk about the exhibition.

The photograph above is the exhibition space that I had envisioned for this project in how the photographs (barriers) would ring around the room and thus surround the viewer. One of the many exhibition trade-offs; larger prints but then less images in this space. It will be interesting to get some more feedback during my talk as I already plan to defer to some open ended questions for the group.

Location: Fabrik Projects; 2636 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles (near Culver City)

Artist talk & reception: Saturday, June 2nd,  4 -7pm

Cheers & hope to see you there!

 

May 26, 2018

America Memorial Day

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:25 pm

America

America, (Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra), 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Here in the United States we are celebrating Memorial Day over this long three day weekend, a wonderful event for many reasons. As a kid it meant that we were going to be out of school shortly and the summer vacation was about to go into full swing. Also meant that the winter weather was gone, flowers were blooming, and it was going to get hot along with the evening swarm of mosquito, the nastiest of little flying biting insects.

As a child I had learned that this weekend was also about honoring those who served in the military, but as my dad and all of his brothers had survived WWII, understanding the underlying sacrifice was really lost on me then. Later when the Vietnam war was upon me and high school friends had gone to serve and then some did not come back, I really came to understood the full impact of what military service was about.

I have also come to celebrate this weekend in a much broader sense; a weekend to remember all of those who served as well as those others who have now passed through this life and a growing appreciation of all those still living among us.

Thus I felt very honored when my gallery used the above photograph, America, from my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project, as a memorial day weekend celebration announcement. In the context of Memorial Day I think that this photograph is a contemporary urban man-built landscape that metaphorically reflects on the current issues facing America. As our national anthem states That our Flag was still there, this photography visually signifies to me that we will get through this current political mess as individuals attempt to create barriers, impediments and divisions. That there is still hope for our country.

Cheers,

Doug

Photographic prints; 40 x 50″ (42 x 52″), 30 x 40″ (32 x 42″) , 22 x 28″ (24 x 30″), 16 x 20″ (17x 22″) available from Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles.

 

May 23, 2018

LACP exhibition opening Friday, May 25, 2018

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:59 pm

America

America, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I was pretty excited that two of my photographs from my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project were selected by Scott B. Davis for the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) annual Fine Art Exhibition. The two photographs are America, above and the photograph San Diego Port of Entry, below.

The theme for this year is Expanding Boundaries. Although my project has as it’s primary subject a series of barriers, a form of physical boundary, the series also documents how these barriers are deteriorating and include passage ways that allow access. Thus providing an element of hope to individuals in order they might contemplate that they can overcome any barrier that they might encounter in life.

The exhibition opening is this Friday, May 25th, 2018 at the LACP facility in Los Angeles from 7pm – 10pm. LACP is located at 1515 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

The LACP exhibition will is available for viewing from May 25th thru June 22nd.

I am equally excited that this exhibition of Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra is overlapping the full exhibition of this body of work at Fabrik Projects. Another two-fer for this body project! As a reminder, my artist book of this body of work is available from me or from Fabrik Projects as well.

San Diego Point of Entry

May 17, 2018

Middle Ground – Trial Proofs now available

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Marker #34, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra T/P (1/1) 16 x 20″/17 x 22″ 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I currently have 22 unique prints now available for sale at my gallery, Fabrik Projects, in Los Angeles. While working on the final Edition for the Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project I printed a series of these photographs on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, a heavy 308gms weight 100% cotton archival paper at 16 x 20″ (on 17 x 22″ paper) to visually test this project. The Photo Rag has a matte finish in which the colors have a subtle rich appearance and on this archival paper and look really, really nice.

When I printed the 40 x 50″ image on a semi-gloss paper, I found that there were some subtle changes in the appearance that warranted further investigation for this project. As a result of a long series of paper testing, I have decided to print the entire Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra edition on a glossy paper, selecting the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl, also a 100% cotton archival medium that is an equally heavy 320gms weight. To complete this evaluation required me to change my Epson printer from the matte black to the photo-black pigment ink required for glossy papers. And I do not plan to go back to the matte black at any time soon.

As a result, all of the earlier test prints on the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag are now consider Trial Proofs (T/P), not Artist Proofs, due to the switch in cotton medium for the final edition.

Thus this creates an opportunity for you to acquire some very unique and beautifully printed T/P prints that are in an edition of One (1/1). The photograph above as well as below are a partial listing of the prints that are available for only for a limited time, because when that print is sold, it’s gone!

If you are intrigued and would like to know more please contact Fabrik Projects for more information: (p) (310) 730-6074 or email: gallery@fabrikprojects.com.

Nevertheless, if you would like to obtain a limited edition print (sizes available are 16 x 20″, 24 x 30″, 30 x 40″ and 40 x 50″), Kasey and the gallery team would love the opportunity to discuss these options as well. just saying…

Cheers!

Doug

San Diego Point of Entry

San Diego Port of Entry

Coastal Point of Entry

Coast Point of Entry

Desert Edge

Desert Edge

Alternative Crossing

Alternative Crossing

Resistance

Tangled Access/Resistance

Rest Stop

Rest Stop

Camouflage

Camouflage

Access Point

Access Point

Marker 42

Marker #42

Observation Post

Observation Post

May 13, 2018

Artist Reception & book launch last night

Filed under: Art, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:07 pm

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Fabrik Projects, Culver City May 2018 Douglas Stockdale

Last night was a wonderful evening celebrating the opening of my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra exhibition at Fabrik Projects along with my family, friends and some new acquaintances. This artist reception was shared with Marilyn Sanders who has the other side of the gallery’s walls with her exquisite photographic study of plants and flowers.

Before the reception some family and friends met at WildCraft, a nuvo-Italian restaurant located in Culver City. Very nice and recommended if you are in the area, which is part of the culinary district of Culver City. Oh yes, the garlic knots appetizer was very yummy, but required some breath mints before heading to the reception.

This was also the formal book launch for my self-published artist book, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, as well as the first formal announcement of a limited edition Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra book + print box set being published by Fabrik Press. The box set will feature a unique photograph that is not included in the boo in an edition of 25 plus A/P. More about the limited edition box set shortly, since the boxes coming in from the East Coast were delayed. Thus an announcement but no display sample, nevertheless it created immediate interest. In addition to the display copy of Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, there was also a display copy of Bluewater Shore, my artist book that I self-published last year. All of these art books and limited edition box set are available from the gallery.

It was really nice to have my family attend, although I am not sure just what Ella and Zach thought of this exhibition. Also enjoyed discussions with Marc Plouffe, Bill Edwards, and Scott Mathews from the PhotoExchange, Paul and Theresa Mounce from our Medtronic days, Pete and Kim Brosnan, close friends from Valencia, and a bunch of local artists/photographers, many who are members of LACP, including Debe Arlook, Martin Cox, Sara Jane Boyers, Sarah Lee, and many others. It was a really nice event hosted by the Fabrik Projects team of Chris Davies and Kasey Taylor.

What I found extremely interesting were the questions and discussions that my sustaining pop-up exhibit created and I understand that an artist talk was requested by a bunch of those attending. So more details shortly about this event that will be scheduled in the next couple of weeks.

PS, I am still waiting for some friends to send me some images from the reception as I was very happily spending a lot of time talking with everyone. Someone remarked that this glow might also be linked to the very nice Old Fashion that I found earlier at WildCraft. Maybe ;- )

Cheers!!

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