David Mitchell uses the techniques of photography, combined with digital tools, to make an image of his inner experience, to build toward specificity rather than to court ambiguity. That inner experience is one of unsurpassed intensity and visual richness, a space where his physical body and its events intersect the world and its impressions....[Mitchell] does not make metaphors, as conventional photographers unavoidably do. He strives for an impossible transparency. -Lyle Rexer
The Dog Must Howl: New Large Scale Photographs by David Mitchell features C-prints, measuring 70.5 x 70.5 inches and 90.5 x 70.5 inches, along with a selection of pigment prints from the Abstracts 2012 series. This is the second solo exhibition for David Mitchell at Jim Kempner Fine Art. “Lyle Rexer, esteemed curator/author, was the obvious choice as curator of David Mitchell’s new large-scale photographs, as he has written the book on abstract photography. He articulately contextualizes this work,” states director of Jim Kempner Fine Art, Dru Arstark who has worked closely with Rexer on mounting this exhibition. The Dog Must Howl: New Large Scale Photographs by David Mitchell is on display at Jim Kempner Fine Art from September 19th-November 2nd, with an opening reception on September 19th from 6-8pm.
David Mitchell continues to reject the assumption that photography is about representation. Pure abstraction and the process of image making are the subjects of his work. Mitchell shoots images with the purest of intuition and from a perspective largely influenced by aura occurrences associated with Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (LTLE). Auras (like lucid dreams) can produce heightened abstract emotions, affecting the visual field. While the experience with auras is not always directly evident in the resulting image, it is irrefutably connected in the process of creation. Having left a career in commercial photography where he spent nearly two decades shooting for fashion and commercial projects, the adult onset of Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy provided Mitchell with the impetus for working exclusively as a fine artist.
Since the artist’s first solo show at Jim Kempner Fine Art in the Spring of 2012, Mitchell has been working to expand beyond a traditional size format in very limited editions of 2. The larger scale prints enable the viewer to be taken “into” the image offering an experiential sense of being absorbed (mind and body) in the unique, created space. Mitchell uses both in-camera strategies, including double exposures, extreme close ups, gels and filters, and, post facto, digital programs to create all-encompassing environments. Mitchell’s abstract language ranges from geometric and minimal to painterly and ethereal. Named in a serial number fashion, photograph AB 7070 185 exemplifies the use of transparency and light inherent to this new large-scale work. This photograph imbues soft, subtle shifts in tone and color providing a mysterious radiance. Mitchell also incorporates a small dot pattern to evoke subliminal static, or what the artist describes as “head noise”. This visual texture references the spike in neurological electrical activity preceding and during a seizure or a disturbance detected in an EEG. In AB9070 168, this small dot pattern aesthetically enhances the overall composition at close inspection and disappears as one steps back.
In an interview with Lyle Rexer, Mitchell describes the overt internal nature of his work. Mitchell’s intensity, unwavering energy and dedication to his vision is undeniably apparent. “[Mitchell] makes images to approach ever more faithfully the texture of his experiences...’The dog howls at the moon,’ says Mitchell. ‘The dog has no choice. I have no choice but to try to snatch what I can.’ ”
For more information, please contact Dru Arstark or Sarah Bielicky or call the gallery at (212) 206-6872.