Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Walter "Rusty" Crump

I walked into the Brant gallery to find a projector and screen set up in the middle of the room. I was confused by the work on the walls and what the talk was going to be about, but then I realized the work on the walls had nothing to do with the talk and I walked towards the tables set up along the windows. I look at the black and white photographs with facination of how can a single pinhole create such warped images as if I was looking through a fish-eye lense. The warped images remind me slightly of Gursky's photographs. I moved down along the table and came upon a various assortment of cameras. I found the cameras to also be pieces of art for they were decorated with collages accented by paint and various other things.

I sat down in the back and the slide show started. The artist introduced himself. He said his name was Walter Crump but people call him "Rusty". He got that name from his mother for she thought he was going to have red hair. He told us he original was schooled in painting and printmaking and teaches at the Commonwealth School near Copley square. He became interested in photography when his students wanted to have a photography course. He originally was a traditional photographer but when all of his equipment was stolen out of his car in Worcester, MA he decided to stick with just pinhole cameras. Crump then presented some of the work from the AIB exhibit. The show consists of work by seven Polish pinhole artists. The photographs were amazing and made me want to see the whole show at AIB.

He explained how pinhole cameras don't have a depth of field therefore creating very surrealistic photographs. He explained that the photos look warped because the hole creates and elipse where the edges are stretched and the center is a circle. He said he finds joy out of happenstance and also explained that you don't know what you will get until the film is developed. This is not true for paper negatives. Paper negatives? I had never heard of paper negatives. He explained that it is just plain black and white photo paper. I was amazed, I finally found a way to use my extra photo paper. This definitely sparked my interest and who knows maybe a project...


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