Faking It: Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor
Friday, November 16, 2012
Jerry Uelsmann is a giant of surreal photomontage — in the 1960s, he was a leading figure in the new field of Pop photography. And he still works in that labor-intensive way. “I’ve had images that I’ve worked on for two or three weeks in the darkroom,” he tells Kurt Andersen. “You know that the idea is a viable one but you’re not quite sure how to resolve it visually.” Uelsmann’s work is featured in the exhibition Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In the late 90s, a representative from Adobe Photoshop approached Uelsmann, asking if he’d create an image on their new software. He did – once – but didn’t cotton to the technology. His wife, photographer Maggie Taylor, latched on to it. She creates her surreal photomontage almost exclusively on a computer. “I love sitting at a desk and working, I’m kind of nerdy about things,” she says. “The idea of using the computer and being able to manipulate the images more and get exactly what I wanted for a still life image was something that immediately appealed to me.”
Uelsmann admits he’s sometimes a little jealous of the tools at Taylor's fingertips. But “I don’t think art is a competitive sport,” he says. Photography is “another system for making marks on paper. If you do it with a computer, if you do it in the darkroom, there’s a variety of ways of doing it — it’s not like one is better than the other.”
Take Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor's images and create an original composition. Use as many elements as you want, add your own, and manipulate them in any way.
Video: Manipulating Photography