My silent stages are platforms specifically constructed as settings for narratives; they are akin to theatrical stages or movie sets.
At the same time, they are artifacts from various stages of my life, visual traces of the sedimentary layers that have quietly accumulated over time, each atop its predecessors.
As stage or movie settings, these images aim to spark viewers’ imagination, to spur them to conjure up a story, a narrative laced with mystery and alienation. That’s why I make the lighting dramatic, why I shoot in black and white, why some elements may be too dark and/or fuzzy to see clearly.
I generally start with the background, searching the streets for a suitably dramatic setting. Then I wait for something to happen, perhaps for players to enter or exit. Sometimes I arrive too late; the last player has exited.
As artifacts from my own story, the images give voice and body to times, experiences and feelings I hardly knew subsisted within me. It was only years after the project was undertaken that I began to understand how the choices I make – of subjects, settings, lighting, composition – reflect the particularities of my life and experience. In this sense, these images are relics from a personal archeological dig, a visual memoir of sorts.
About Ken Dreyfack
Ken Dreyfack is an acclaimed fine art photographer and journalist whose images have appeared in galleries throughout the U.S. A New Yorker by birth and a Frenchman by naturalization; his life has been divided between two countries, languages and cultures.
As a journalist and commercial writer, Ken worked in the broadcast and print media in New York, Paris and Chicago. He has been seriously engaged in fine art photography since his return to the US a decade ago. Ken lives in the Hudson River Valley and serves as co-moderator of the Photographers’ Salon at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW). Silent Stages is the first monograph of his work.
In recent years, Ken’s work has been selected by jurors including Kristin Gaylord, David A. Ross, Aline Smithson, Paula Tognarelli and David H. Wells for group exhibits at the Site:Brooklyn and Foley galleries in NYC, the Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO., the Griffin Museum in Boston, the Davis-Orton gallery in Hudson, NY, the Greg Moon Gallery in Taos, NM, the Sohn Gallery in Lenox, MA and others. A solo exhibit of his work was held in September 2017 at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM). Ken won second prize for The Photo Review’s 2018 competition, juried by MOMA photography curator Sarah Meister. His work was selected for Photography Now 2018 at CPW, won the Silver Award in the 2019 San Francisco Bay International Photography Competition, and was awarded second prize in the 2019 Texas Photographic Society Urban Landscape exhibition at the Silos in Houston. [Official Website]