Saturday, April 08, 2006

Zohar Studios

Study For A Painting

From Memory (Series)

The Raven

Stephen Berkman is the massively talented photographer and artist behind Zohar Studios (motto: "The New Instantaneous Process Employed".) He utilises a photographic technique called ambrotype which involves a silver nitrate development of a glass negative which appears positive when placed against a white backing. Ambrotype is similar to daguerrotype but less expensive, and experienced a short-lived popularity in the mid-19th century. I've always found this sort of antiquated look very appealing and Berkman's subject matter is perfectly suited to the technique.

Both the "From Memory" series and "The Raven" bring to mind Moreau's human-animal chimaera from H.G. Wells' "The Island of Dr. Moreau". "Study For A Painting" reminds me of the sort of awkward, ethnocentric posed portraits that were so popular during the heyday of the British Empire, wherein "noble savages" would be dressed up in stiff, European attire and photographed. All of Berkman's work is infused with a grim grotesque quality that I find fascinating. Take a look at his website.

Link to Stephen Berkman's Zohar Studios.

(All images © Stephen Berkman 2006)

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