‘I’m After Something More Sublime’: Sam Falls on Making Art Out of Nature to Capture the Nature of Time, Taylor Dafoe, δημοσίευση Artnet News [2/2/2023]
Roughly a dozen years ago, Sam Falls was photographing square pieces of construction paper pinned to his studio wall. He was creating, through film, photoshop, and—finally—hardware store paint, iterative, multimedia prints that traced the translation of color from the digital to the analog.
It was a “very didactic way of trying to pull painting out of photography,” Falls recalled of the project. By his own admission, it was not “good” art.
But that was okay. The artist was in graduate school back then and thinking about how to make pictures that decentered the process-driven rhetoric popular among photographers at the moment. “I just thought, how can I take away all these precepts of photography, all the technical elements, and use just the core values of it, which, in my mind, would be time and representation,” he said. “That was a real brain-teaser.”
One day, the artist returned to his studio to find that the squares of construction paper had fallen from his walls. When he picked them up, he noticed that sections of the paper had faded in the window light. Falls had, in a crude kind of way, created a photograph—and he needed only one material and the sun to do it.
“This evolved into the first sun works where I would roll the paper and put it in the window for almost a year. When unrolled you had a faded image of the material itself,” Falls explained. “I always loved the minimalism and self-reflective element of the material as an image of itself, just by the nature of time passing—like wrinkles in our skin.”
Today, the process by which Falls makes much of his work is surprisingly similar: Through prolonged exposure to the sun and other elements, the 39-year-old artist transforms his materials into portraits of a time and place—and often does so at a humbling scale. The results have grown increasingly sophisticated. They’re also frequently misunderstood.
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