Color Tectonics: Photo Collages

Artist Statement

Color Tectonics is an ongoing series of work that investigates photography’s relationship to materiality and the intimacy that discarded vernacular snapshots retain. As found photographs from estate sales and antique shops, these images no longer commemorate the domestic milestones they were once intended for. Instead, with their context stripped away, these photographs are liberated from being a document to become self-contained narratives that oscillate between the familiar and the uncanny.

Drawing inspiration from mid twentieth century eye tracking studies, the photo collages use non-photographic materials such as string, markers, and pins to symbolize anticipatory reaction, empathy, and disassociation. During the process of creating these works, my practice moves fluidly between analog and digital techniques. Though my hand allows me to bring the photograph closer, the camera keeps me at bay.

This leaves me to wonder if time is the terrain, my hand is a storm, and the camera might be the eye of Lynceus. When Lynceus traveled with the Argonauts, it was only his eyes that could see through the mountains, under the ground, and depict objects miles away to chart a path through a tempest.

Karen Larson-VoltzKaren Larson-Voltz received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her artistic practice includes photography, collage, and book arts. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as: Pingyao International Photography Festival, in Pingyao,China; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien Kreuzberg, in Berlin, Germany; Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, in Novato, CA; and in the Power Plant Gallery at Duke University, in Durham, NC.