My photographs explore the liminal space between clarity and ambiguity, a boundless transcendent essence that is both settled and unfathomable.
These images direct the viewer towards the possibility of going beyond objective reality, that something is hovering below the threshold of their conscious perception. My goal is to evoke an unsettled response leading the audience to closely examine the photograph where they discover unexpected things. All my work is about creating an acute awareness of the boundaries between interiority and exteriority. The imagery contrasts the relationship between our inner perceptions, memories and daydreams with the emergence of something new, the evidence of a figure or object that is not quite recognizable, but is a puzzle that needs to be reassembled.
About Charles Birnbaum
Charles Birnbaum is an accomplished multi-disciplinarian artist. He is a self-taught photographer with a degree in sculpture. He has photographed with both 35mm and large format view cameras since the late 60’s and briefly studied with Fred Picker of Zone VI Studio in 1970 where he learned to capture images as he envisioned them in the field and then translate them into fine prints. For the past 16 years he has been exclusively working as a sculptor creating award-winning work, but Charles returned to photography during the pandemic as a way to express the unsettled times, ease the stress and process the heaviness of the life around him. Photographic success came within a few months when he was awarded 3rd prize in Still Life in the 2020 International Chromatic Awards. And within one year, his work has been featured in ten gallery exhibitions and several of his photographs have been published: one for the International Chromatic Awards and in the Loosen Art magazine. Charles recently won an Honorable Mention for a Fine Art series from the 2021 MonoVisions Awards. As a sculptor his works are in multiple private and public collections, including those of the design world luminary Hilda Longinotti, Ronald Kuchta, the renowned former Director of the Everson Museum of Arts and editor of American Ceramics, Jack Lenor Larsen the legendary textile designer and inventor and the creator of the Longhouse Reserve, the Kapfenberg Cultural Center of Austria, and the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art in Mino, Japan. He has a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and did graduate work at the Tyler School Art. [Official Website]