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photo-eye Gallery Interview: Daniel Shipp on his series Botanical Inquiry photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly interviews our newest represented artist Daniel Shipp about his series Botanical Inquiry.

Mixed Use Enclosure, 2015, Archival Pigment Print, 16x20" Image, Edition of 14, $950 – Daniel Shipp
In order to maintain the environment that most of are accustomed to, people are constantly modifying nature such as pulling weeds and planting grass. We decide where plants should go and what types of plants are appropriate for the given area.  Yet the moment this maintenance ceases, nature takes back over.  Weeds start to peek through the weed barriers, flowers grown between cracks in the sidewalk and trees grow out of ruins such as the Ta Prohm temple in Cambodia.

In Daniel Shipp's Botanical Inquiry, plants rule, they are monumental structures dwarfing the urban landscape impeding its significance.  When selecting plants to create his hyperreal images Shipp doesn't seek out exotic greenery but looks for common varieties, some that we might even consider weeds. Focusing on their texture, color, and form he employes studio lighting and exaggerated perspective to shape the scene and the viewer's perception.

We are thrilled to introduce Daniel Shipp as photo-eye Gallery's newest represented artist — and to share his recent conversation with Gallery Director Anne Kelly.

Defunct Industrial Site, 2014, Archival Pigment Print, 16x20" Image, Edition of 14, $950 – Daniel Shipp

Anne Kelly:     How did photography first enter your consciousness?

Daniel Shipp:     I was obsessed with television as a youngster, and I was a sponge for soaking up any pieces of information about how the imagery was created. The idea that a camera was a window into an illusory world fascinated me endlessly, and it still does.

AK:     Who are your influences 

A Group of Auriculas (2),
 Dr. Robert John Thornton, 1807
DS:     There are many! In terms of photography, when I discovered Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s work at art school it affected me immensely for it’s emotive and slightly heightened reality. Brassai’s book ‘Paris de Nuit’ book was a visual bible for me. In recent years Roger Ballen’s work has opened new doors in my brain - his ability to construct images confounds me. Bill Henson’s Paris Opera series still gives me chills years after first seeing it.

Cinema / Cinematography has had a huge impact on me.  In the late eighties (as a teen), I was at the cinema 3-4 times a week to see films by directors such as Hal Hartey and Jim Jarmusch.  The films I saw in that period defined my sensibility and taste moving forward. My bedtime reading is American Cinematographer Magazine, I just love reading about how others use light.

I’m also intrigued by a broad range of illustration. I loved to draw but I could never achieve the results I was after, otherwise, I would probably have made a career of that rather than photography. Mark Ryden’s world is incredible and darkly beautiful. The aesthetic and the somber mood of Robert John Thornton’s Temple of Flora was a big visual influence on my Botanical Inquiry series.

I recently bought myself the book The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop and it speaks to me in a very deep way – conceptually, emotionally, technically.

Adjacent to Freeway, 2015, Archival Pigment Print, 16x20" Image, Edition of 14, $950 – Daniel Shipp
AK:     Talk about the concept of Re-noticing. You are taking plants out of context, but not completely.    What are your thoughts as to how plants fit into the modern world?

DS:     It’s probably best for me to frame this in terms my own experience.  My small indoor gardens
Small Garden in Daniel Shipp's Studio - click to enlarge
on my balcony and at the studio are a refuge for me. The process of caring for plants and watching them grow is a welcome break from screens for my eyes, my brain, and my heart. Studying the minutiae of plant growth (which I do) on a daily basis is like a meditation. Connection with plants – whether that is your garden or with the trees outside your office – is important for our psychological well-being. Plants connect us to something greater than ourselves in a very simple way.

AK:     Tell us about your Process 

DS:     I’m often asked about my technique for making these images, and I find these questions problematic to answer. If I’m too literal about it I think it takes a magic away from the work. I give basic information away, but I like to keep people guessing because I think that is part of the
Daniel Shipp Studio Garden Detail - click to enlarge
engagement. The images are made in-camera in the studio, employing a technique based on pre-digital visual effects for cinema. This lends the images a particular painterly aesthetic that I would not get with a digital composite. Shooting this antiquated illusion with a modern digital camera and then going back to a very traditional and heavy watercolor paper for printing is so exciting for me and it’s part of the unique quality that the prints have.

AK:     Ideally, how would you like your work to impact the viewer?

DS:     I’m constantly looking to build a connection with the viewer, finding a way into their core. If my pictures cause someone to think a little differently about their world – even temporarily – then that’s the ultimate for me.

Daniel Shipp's Studio with working project edit - click to enlarge image

AK:     You also make commercial work.  How does this impact your fine-art work and how do the practices differ?

DS:     I find that it’s healthy for me to have a balance. It gives me a sense of urgency for both threads of my work. I will work really hard to clear a week or so of time to shoot my personal work, and it makes that studio time so precious. Often when I am working commercially I will have ideas about my personal work or discover something that I can use, and this works both ways actually. Earning an income separate to my fine art work also allows me to make braver choices.

Regeneration at Perimeter, 2015, Archival Pigment Print, 16x20" Image, Edition of 14, $950 – Daniel Shipp

AK:     You attended the Sydney College of Arts.  Who was your most influential professor and why?

DS:      I came into contact with several influential Photomedia artists during my time but I think Rebecca Shanahan had the most long-term impact on me. Conversations with her taught me how to look at my work in a more objective light. I work alone a lot in the studio, and being taught to ask yourself the right questions, and the tough questions in the throes of making an image has been really beneficial to me.

Utilities Access Route, 2015, Archival Pigment Print, 16x20" Image, Edition of 14, $950 – Daniel Shipp

AK:     What is next? 

DS:     I’m currently shooting more images for this series. I always think that I’m done but then I realize I’m not, I’m always seeing too much good stuff that I want to work with.

Photographer Daniel Shipp
Daniel Shipp is a fine art and commercial photographer who's exhibited solo shows at Saint Cloche and Adelaide Perry galleries in Sydney, and notably was part of Antipodean Inquiry a group show representing Australian and New Zealand Australian artists at Yavuz Gallery in Singapore. In 2017 Botanical Inquiry won first place in the Fine Art category of the Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards, resulting in exposure to a large international audience for his work.

His work has also been featured as a finalist in the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, and the Bowness Prize 2015, gaining a high commendation for the latter. Early in his career he was awarded the Phototechnica Award for New Australian Photo-Artist of the Year. Daniel studied Photomedia at Sydney College of the Arts, graduating with an honors degree in Bachelor Visual Arts and the University Medal.

He was born in Sydney, Australia and after several years living between Montreal, Toronto and Sydney Daniel is now settled in his Sydney studio.

For more information on Botanical Inquiry, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects The Perfect Mann by Cristina de Middel as Book of the Week.
The Perfect Man By Cristina de MiddelLa Fábrica, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects The Perfect Man by Cristina de Middel from La Fábrica as Book of the Week.

"At the age of 16, Ashok Aswani skipped his job to see Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush in the theater. After watching the film five times in a row, Aswani left his job with a newfound purpose in life. 47 years later, he is now a practicing doctor and the head of the Charlie Circle, a fan organization that celebrates Chaplin’s life with the largest Chaplin impersonator parades in the world.

This cultural phenomenon serves as the backdrop for The Perfect Man, the latest publication from Cristina de Middel. Using Chaplin’s film Modern Times as a loose storyboard, de Middel uses Aswani’s Chaplin legacy to examine masculinity in Indian society. Looking at the notion of the perfect man and ‘Asli Mard,’ de Middel questions what the ideal man should be. She pairs photographs of Chaplin impersonators — with their cardboard masks and painted mustaches — alongside factory workers whose skin has been colored blue in an act of religious symbolism. Medical photographs are inserted throughout the book, as well as found vernacular portraits of men. Drawings of hands and photographs of women speak to the interactions between genders and cultures in Indian society.

Humorous, surreal, ironic, contemplative, and multifaceted, The Perfect Man is an incredible publication. Cristina de Middel looks at Indian masculinity as an outsider, yet manages to create something that speaks honestly without imposition. Is the perfect man one that works hard to lift his family and country up economically or one who lives to pursue happiness and inspire joy in others? What does the perfect man physically look like? Can the perfect man even exist if women are not seen as equals?

Ultimately this book will appeal to a wide audience. Those interested in Cristina de Middel’s oeuvre, the post-truth movement, Indian culture, masculinity, Charlie Chaplin, or bizarre historical events should read this book. The Perfect Man does nothing but cement Cristina de Middel’s legacy as one of the champions of contemporary photography." — Forrest Soper

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The Perfect Man By Cristina de MiddelLa Fábrica, 2017
The Perfect Man By Cristina de MiddelLa Fábrica, 2017.

Forrest Soper is an artist and photographer based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Forrest is the editor of photo-eye Blog, a former photochemical lab technician at Bostick & Sullivan, and a graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Book Review Past Perfect Continuous Photographs by Igor Posner Reviewed by Collier Brown In Past Perfect Continuous, the quest continues but on Posner’s home turf. The book documents a series of visits Posner made to St. Petersburg between 2006 and 2009. But the St. Petersburg he encountered was not the Leningrad of his youth. The disorienting arrangement of places and faces in the book deny us, and Posner, the comfort of a homecoming long overdue.
Past Perfect Continuous 
Photographs by Igor Posner. Red Hook Editions, 2017.
Past Perfect Continuous
Reviewed by Collier Brown

Past Perfect Continuous.
Photographs by Igor Posner. Short story by Mary Di Lucia.
Red Hook Editions, Brooklyn, USA, 2017. In English. 160 pp., 6¾x9".  

“You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory,” writes Thomas Wolfe in his posthumous novel, You Can’t Go Home Again (1940). Few efforts are more futile than trying to return home. Igor Posner reflects on this difficulty in his new book, Past Perfect Continuous.

 Posner moved to the U.S. from St. Petersburg in the 1990s, and began photographing the nighthawks of L.A. and Tijuana. Much of the work from this period found its way into Posner’s series, No Such Records (2004–2006), a title that hints at the transient and placeless themes that would come to define his work. As is often the case with street photography, Posner’s dark, sensual photographs tell us more about the photographer than they do about the streets. The sex workers and vacant hotels are what we’d expect to find. But what haunts the photographs is the man behind the camera who has chosen to be nowhere over somewhere. Nevertheless, there’s method here. After spending time with the images, you realize that the series is not so much about seeing L.A. or Tijuana as it is about rediscovering oneself in the last place you’d expect yourself to be — 6,000 miles from home.

Past Perfect Continuous. Photographs by Igor Posner. Red Hook Editions, 2017.

In Past Perfect Continuous, the quest continues but on Posner’s home turf. The book documents a series of visits Posner made to St. Petersburg between 2006 and 2009. But the St. Petersburg he encountered was not the Leningrad of his youth. The disorienting arrangement of places and faces in the book deny us, and Posner, the comfort of a homecoming long overdue. In fact, Posner never returned to his actual childhood terrain, preferring instead to play the stranger — or to accept the stranger he’d become.

Past Perfect Continuous. Photographs by Igor Posner. Red Hook Editions, 2017.

If it weren’t for the familiarity of Russia’s raw, frozen demeanor, the bars and stragglers and stray dogs of St. Petersburg’s streets at night could be mistaken for those of Tijuana, which says something about the seven years it took Posner to edit this series. During that time, Posner manipulated the narrative to leave impressions of places rather than recognizable indications, moments rather than memories.

Past Perfect Continuous. Photographs by Igor Posner. Red Hook Editions, 2017.

Instances of clarity in this book are rare. But that infrequency adds something quasi-philosophical to the mix. Almost exactly halfway through the book, a two-page spread of a dining room appears. Though not quite in focus, it’s more precise in detail than most of the images. Damasked walls vie for attention with the domestic bric-a-brac of saucers, vases, and clocks. Only in picture frames, propped ornamentally here and there, do we see any people. Relatives? Loved ones? It doesn’t matter. The background patterns fold into the medley of household possessions. The closer to home we get, the further it removes itself. The more focused the space, the more it resists being seen. The photograph leads the eye everywhere and nowhere at once. Such is the enigma of “home” and of this book.

Past Perfect Continuous. Photographs by Igor Posner. Red Hook Editions, 2017.

A short story by Mary di Lucia titled The Return of Not Returning ends the collection with a nod to Posner’s theme. “There is unfolding the impossible map in mind while following the old footsteps,” the story says. And each of those footsteps “invites the possibility of the false hope of return.” Posner’s return home is truly an impossible map. But I’m not sure there’s any “false hope” in Past Perfect Continuous, at least not to the extent that we see it in No Such Records. Anxiety is tempered with acceptance. The stressed shadows and pinhole quality of the photographs add a slight sense of urgency, as if the walls might close in, but no real panic. Life moves in one direction in this book, closing all the doors behind it. The photographs accept their own momentum.

Past Perfect Continuous. Photographs by Igor Posner. Red Hook Editions, 2017.

Posner toyed with the idea of naming this series, Notes from Underground, after Dostoevsky’s classic novel. And though Posner’s bleak, adumbral atmosphere might evoke Dostoevsky (or any number of Russian writers), I think the connections, in the end, would be superficial at best. Past Perfect Continuous is not pathetic. It’s not sad. Neither does it speak directly to oppression, suffering, nor the plight of the refugee. Its dilemmas are beautifully introspective and poetic. Posner’s St. Petersburg is a city conjured. It is a place for strangers and strangeness. But it denies the returner his sentimentality and nostalgia. That denial is “continuous,” which is what gives this book its wondrous and wandering energy. — Collier Brown

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Collier Brown is a photography critic and poet. Founder and editor of Od Review, Brown also works as an editor for 21st Editions (Massachusetts) and Edition Galerie Vevais (Germany).

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photo-eye Gallery New Work: Mitch Dobrowner photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to debut two new works by prominent landscape photographer and represented artist Mitch Dobrowner.

Volcano and Skeleton, 2018 – © Mitch Dobrowner
photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to debut two new works from prominent black-and-white landscape photographer Mitch Dobrowner, Shiprock, 2018 and Volcano and Skeleton (above). Dobrowner's view of the western landscape is often heroic, photographing striking geological structures as he seems to celebrate both their monumental form and resilience over time. His images are reverent, yielding an expression of Dobrowner's own respect for the beauty and importance of the land. We asked Mitch to share a few words about one of his new works, Shiprock, 2018:

Shiprock, 2018 – © Mitch Dobrowner

I  can only describe Shiprock and the area surrounding it as the most spiritual and serene landscapes on the planet (to me). The formation is a volcanic plug that rises 1,600 feet above a barren desert plain south of the San Juan River. Shiprock is called Tsé Bitʼaʼí in Navajo, which means "rock with wings" or simply "winged rock." The formation figures prominently in Navajo Indian mythology as a giant bird that carried the Navajo from the cold northlands to the Four Corners region. Shiprock, when viewed from certain angles, resembles a large sitting bird with folded wings; the north and south summits are the tops of the wings. 
While taking these images I was alone, not a person within sight. It was quiet and I was in awe of what I felt and what I was looking at.  
Shiprock is a sacred mountain to the Navajo Nation.
– Mitch Dobrowner


Archival pigment prints of Shiprock, 2018 and Volcano and Skeleton are now available in three limited editions:

Edition of 15
14 x 20" : Starting at $1,500

Edition of 25
20 x 30" : Starting at $2,500

Edition of 5
34 x 50":
1 : $5000
2 : $7000
3 : $9000
4 : $11000 
5 : Held by artist

Unlike previous releases from Dobrowner,  the 14 x 20" and 20 x 30" prints for Shiprock, 2018 and Volcano and Skeleton are not available in a collective edition but their own discrete editions of 15 and 25 respectively.

At the time of this publication, both prints are available at their introductory price for all editions, and prices will increase as the edition sells.

If you have questions, or would like to purchase prints in the first price tier, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x 202 or

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects The Mechanism by Mårten Lange as Book of the Week.
The MechanismBy Mårten Lange Mack, 2017.
Christian Michael Filardo selects The Mechanism, by Mårten Lange, from Mack, as Book of the Week.

"The future is upon us. Screens surround us and everything is relentlessly documented and archived. People live on devices day in, day out, constantly monitoring their lives while they, in turn, are monitored by the world around them. In Mårten Lange’s The Mechanism Lange watches us watching ourselves. Lange captures broadcasts, satellites, computer monitors, office buildings, and the way light reflects off the metal and glass of urbanity.

At first, one might think of the work contained in The Mechanism as sterile and cold, however, Lange’s outlook on the future is not entirely humorless. The way he juxtaposes architectural giants with dumbfounded people and images of text reading “Standard Life” or “100%” with a humongous disco ball is comedic. When I look at this book, I think Lange is right. The future is both beautiful and stupid at the same time. Less ominous than the black monolith that we often associate with the hyper future, Lange’s future is simple and shiny and contains boxes and spheres, humans doing nothing, and text that makes sense while being nonsensical. Lange seems to realize the future is something we all have the ability to comprehend but have no real understanding of because it hasn’t happened yet.

I feel as though The Mechanism is Lange’s attempt to create a narrative about some sort of dystopian human future. Everything is wrong but high tech, rigid and manicured, pristine and abandoned — truly a fun and noble attempt at showing us what the future could look and feel like if we decided to make everything out of metal and all humans were mindless drones.

Ultimately, I find The Mechanism to be a compelling and amusing illustration of what could potentially be our fate — one big city, surrounded by useless infrastructure with little to do other than look at our screens into infinity" — Christian Michael Filardo

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The MechanismBy Mårten Lange Mack, 2017.
The MechanismBy Mårten Lange Mack, 2017.

Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino American photographer, curator, and composer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year they released their second book The Voyeur’s Gambit through Lime Lodge. Currently, they help run the gallery and performance space Etiquette and write critically for photo-eye and Phroom. Filardo is the current shipping manager at photo-eye Bookstore.

photo-eye Gallery Interview: Chaco Terada Gallery Associate Savannah Sakry reaches out to Japanese artist Chaco Terada for more insight into her mesmerizing works on silk featured in our current exhibition Rendezvous with Light.

photo-eye Gallery's current exhibition, Rendezvous with Light has been extended through the new year until January 20th. If you are not yet familiar with photographers David H. Gibson and Chaco Terada we invite you to please come by the gallery and see these exquisite prints in person - they are not be missed! To follow Gallery Associate Lucas Shaffer's interview with David H. Gibson, we asked Gallery Associate Savannah Sakry to reach out to Japanese artist Chaco Terada for more insight into her mesmerizing works on silk. While Terada's one-of-a-kind pieces render as personal visual poems, her themes are universal in regards to the business of being human. Motifs of love, loss, family, and life's journey run deep, similar to the multiple layers of silk, images, and Sumi ink used to create her works.

Terada testing brushes at favorite calligraphy shop on a recent visit to her native Japan.

Savannah Sakry What drew you to incorporate silk with your photographs, or was it that you decided to incorporate photography into your works on silk?

Chaco Terada:  I decided to incorporate photography into my artwork on silk. I was seeking ways to express calligraphy as an art form.

SS:  Your use of calligraphy is more an artistic and expressionistic approach – not to be interpreted as traditional Japanese calligraphy. When did you first begin experimenting outside the boundaries of traditional Japanese calligraphy?

CT:  After I moved to the USA over 20 years ago, I received instructor qualifications of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and I took steps toward finding my own expression.

The Ceremony of Origin, 2017 © Chaco Terada, Sumi and Pigment Ink on Silk, 10x6", Unique

SS I understand your process is meditative, organic - there is no formula, your workflow is intuitive. Would you say your process is also healing or centering for you?

CT:  Yes, it happened to be a very healing process during the creation of the works in the exhibition. I was experiencing fear of death in addition, to the emotional pain from childhood.

SS What moves you or inspires you? Specifically which photographers have been the most influential?

CT:  I pay attention when I see the similar taste in someone’s photograph. I would not be influenced by it because I already have it. My works come from own experiences of daily life. Every day, I observe how all the elements surround me and interact with my feelings. The time comes when I naturally start making artworks.

Dew 1, 2017 © Chaco Terada, Sumi and Pigment Ink on Silk, 10x6", Unique

SS Do you have a favorite piece in the exhibition? If so, which one and why?

CT:  I would not use the word “favorite” but the work called “Dew 1” came to my mind. I had a unique experience with it. In the beginning, it was a casual self-portrait but when I saw my mother in it, everything changed. An old picture, of my young mother holding her newborn baby in her arms, mirrored my self-portrait. I returned to being that baby in her arms. My mother was making eye contact with me. I was trying to see the warm light falling from the above. Tears warmed my heart, became gentle rain over me.  I hear her life commitment with this little one and she kept it up to now. That was it. All hard drama in my life was based on love. It started as Love at first sight. I wrote my mother a letter to say thank you for giving all her life to protect me. I finally see it - love was there, it was always there!  This portrait shows this woman is in love with the world she is in.

SS Your work explores many themes such as nature, light, time, origin, and reflection. Is there one theme, in particular, you feel your work encompasses the most?

CT:  It could be “life”. All my mystery, wonder, and excitement are there.

Garden Without Spacetime F1, 2017 © Chaco Terada | Sumi and Pigment Ink on Silk, 10x7", Unique
Garden Without Spacetime F2, 2017 © Chaco Terada | Sumi and Pigment Ink on Silk, 10x7", Unique 

SS I love that each work is unique or one-of-kind and typically from a series of two to five pieces. When do you feel a series or individual piece is completed?

CT:  Usually, the original photo gives me the final image.  When I can manage the harmony in brush, ink, silk, and image to approach to that image I can sense the completion. When the photo gives me a poetry or a story it becomes a series. My sense will find the end of them.

SS:  What advise can you offer other artists and photographers?

CT:  Sorry Savannah, I have no idea what to say to other artists. To me, they are already the masters of their ways.

Chaco Terada


For more information or to purchase prints, please contact the Gallery Staff at 505.988.5152 x202 or