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Artist Statement

Biography:

picture of artist, Paul Desmarais

For over two decades, I worked as a photojournalist and artist in Connecticut, documenting the life of my community and exploring the nature of my environment visually.

In the course of my career, I have won dozens of state, regional, and national awards: recognized by the National Press Photographer’s Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, Connecticut News Photographers, and The Associated Press for the quality and timeliness of my work.

I left the news business in 2008 to pursue a new career in instructional design and focus on my personal vision. My current visual explorations include an ongoing, long-term project tentatively titled “The American Desert."

Vision:

Yucca tinted gold by early morning light As an artist entering my third decade of photographic exploration, I have come to believe in a single, basic tenet; light is everything. Composition, exposure, depth of focus, film choice, printing technique… all of those components and a dozen other creative tools and methods are subordinate to the presence and quality of the light. After all,am it is light in all its amazing forms that makes photography so wondrously possible.

Each manifestation of light has its own particular power and beauty. Capturing and condensing that light is my key motivation. Sharing the experience of creation is equally important. Sharing my vision is such an essential part of the creative equation, I feel without an audience the entire process lacks purpose.

The final defining character of my work, deeply rooted in my life as a journalist, is my belief that a photograph is aslice of time captured and preserved. I believe these moments should not be altered or manipulated; but recorded and shared. My photographs are my way of communicating a visceral, often uplifting, experience. My part of of the creative equation is as much intermediary and historian as artist and interpreter.

Methods:

moonset over mesa tinted rust red by sunset

Working in a traditional, wet dark room for the first ten years of my professional life, I began to transition to working digitally; initially for my documentary work, leveraging the new technologies to get my images into print faster. Today, with the improvement of digital equipment, camera choice is something I make based on the particlar aesthetic I am pursuing.

I began to print digitally, to take advantage of the superior color fastness and realistic tones possible with improved pigment inks pioneered by Epson.

My current methodology is mixture of equipment and technique best suited to the artistic endeavor at hand. I work predominantly in 35mm, shooting Fuji chrome, scanning the images, and printing digitally. I print all my work personally, in order to maintain quality control over the finished prints.

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