Benjamin Trigano, owner of M+B Gallery in Los Angeles introduced us to the work of Matthew Brandt, a young California-based photographer and a graduate of UCLA, who uses natural elements and their chemical properties to create his large scale photographic abstractions. Brandt’s work is a multi-stage process, often requiring days and weeks to reach the final stage. The end result is a combination of traditional nature/landscape photography and “chemically painted” abstraction. What’s interesting about Matthew’s work is his ability to merge the figurative and the abstract elements that together create a unique and very personal vision of his environment.
Interestingly enough, in the recent years, many smartphone applications began to offer digital filters and editing tools that create a similar effect. Essentially you can take any photograph and transform it into a washed out “double exposure” using these tools. What’s unique about Matthew’s vision is the physical medium he uses to create his images. More on his process in the video transcript below.
Benjamin Trigano: [M+B Gallery is] located in Los Angeles. I’m Benjamin Trigano, the owner of the gallery and this is the work of Matthew Brant. He is 29, studied at UCLA under Jim Welling and Cathy Opie and he graduated two years ago.
This is an ongoing series he’s been doing for the last year and a half where he shoots lakes across America. He prints the image and then he soaks the image in the water of that lake, so he collects the water in each lake that he shoots. What happens is, depending on the acidity of the lake or the paper he uses you get these images with abstractions. Some have more abstractions, some have less…some are more figurative, it’s really a random process.
The big ones he just started doing and this is “Big Bear” in California. They are all unique [images] and sometimes he uses the image over and over again if he likes the image. It’s really a unique process, it’s really his own unique work.