Artist / Laura Plageman
Laura Plageman is an artist and educator who lives and works in Oakland, CA. Her images explore the relationships between the process of image making, photographic truth and distortion, and the representation of landscape. She is interested in making pictures that examine the natural world as a scene of mystery, beauty and constant change—transformed both by human presence and by its own design. Plageman has exhibited her work in throughout the United States and internationally. She earned a BA at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) and an MFA from the California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA). She was also the Ne Plus Ultra winner of the Jen Bekman Gallery’s 2011 Hey, Hot Shot! competition.
In this series I am responding to photographs both as representations and tangible objects. Through physically altering enlarged prints and then re-photographing the results, I create works that oscillate between image and object, photography and sculpture, landscape and still life. While they may appear illusory, the resulting pictures are documents of actual events and are thus as authentic as the original representation images contained within.
My process unfolds through observation and experimentation - I let the image and its materiality dictate its direction. Playing with paper and with light in unplanned and organic ways, I look for new ways to perceive the space, form and context of my subjects. In some works, large pieces of the original image are torn out while in others, smaller partes are more subtly altered. Whether focused on a ripped paper edge or a nesting bird, I hope to reach a place where picture elements interact and merge in unpredictable and expressive ways.