Photographer and digital artist Barry Tarr shares a collection of abstract images designed to resonate emotionally with the viewer. Find more of his portfolio on his website.
I am a fine art photographer living in York, Maine. While my educational background is in computer science, I have been active in photography since I was twelve. I have built four darkrooms and remember the periods of not seeing daylight for days at a time. I feel that my career in information technology aligns very well with digital photography and has helped my artistic endeavors.
Photography is a pursuit that involves what I call a 360-degree view of the world. From the hard sciences—physics, optics and chemistry—to psychology, physiology and philosophy, I feel that the more facets of life you understand, the better your art will be.
The images in this body of work explore the use of color as a purely abstract exercise intended to delight the eye and mind. Color is the property of an object that creates a sensation in the eye and is interpreted by the brain.
Photography, and for that matter all visual arts, use color to communicate ideas and to evoke emotions.
The use of color can be abstract or representational or somewhere in between. The images in this body of work explore the use of color as a purely abstract exercise intended to stimulate the eye and mind.
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Technology and art are closely intertwined and all art involves the use of technology. The tools a painter uses would not exist without technology. Certainly, photography was founded on technological advances in chemistry, physics, optics and other branches of science. My use of technology for this series involves the recent development of inexpensive LED light strips and tiny electronic controllers. These tools have allowed me to study pure color and light.
For lack of a better term, I call this project a version of “Light Painting.” I have a nice collection of LED lights and Electroluminescent (EL) Wire. My process involves placing my camera on a tripod in a darkroom with a black background. By making exposures with the various lights, I create the raw materials for my images. The images are then opened in Photoshop and transformed in different ways to create the final image.
Part of this project is exploring different media to mount the images on. I use inkjet canvas and vinyl sign material to create three-dimensional art—a reviewer called it “Photographic Sculpture.” I have used PVC tubing, acrylic discs and Plexiglas to make these sculpture pieces. I also prefer to mount my flat pieces on plywood, without glass, so the viewer may study the work more closely.
My hope is that you enjoy my work and that it inspires you to embark on your own explorations.
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