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Doug Fogelson’s Colorful Photogram Series Captures Decomposition

Doug Fogelson does not use cameras of any kind to create his colorful, x-ray like images of animal and plant specimens. His artwork consists of photograms, made by a method where the artist places an object directly onto film and exposes it to colored light. The final image is a shadow of the original form, which can appear either opaque or having a ghostly translucence depending on the transparency of the subject. The transparency film that is used needs to be exposed in a space with total darkness, a process Fogelson makes repeatedly, and with a high attention to detail.

Doug Fogelson does not use cameras of any kind to create his colorful, x-ray like images of animal and plant specimens. His artwork consists of photograms, made by a method where the artist places an object directly onto film and exposes it to colored light. The final image is a shadow of the original form, which can appear either opaque or having a ghostly translucence depending on the transparency of the subject. The transparency film that is used needs to be exposed in a space with total darkness, a process Fogelson makes repeatedly, and with a high attention to detail. He shares, “Each exposure is a different color or tone of light and the film remembers each and blends any color that is layered onto another. The result is secondary, and tertiary blends and I try to control these for each final image to have a certain palette.” Fogelson sources his subject matter from all corners of the world. These include bones, feathers, shells, coral, minerals, and various objects he finds on his travels, while his rarer, more favorite “curiosities,” such as blackbird wings, are gifted from friends and collectors. While the basis for Fogelson’s work is scientific and highly technical, there is an emotional aspect that he’d like others to take away from it. “Bearing witness to nonhuman life forms via this art project, where the items index themselves via photogram, will hopefully resonate with the humans who are directly or indirectly causing their demise,” he says. Doug Fogelson is currently showing his latest series, “Broken Cabinet” at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles through June 28, 2015.

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