When one walks into Image City Photography Gallery from April 18-May 14, 2023, the first word that might come to mind is dramatic. David Bleich’s feature exhibit entitled Windows includes a collection of renderings of the Stata Center at MIT. It also includes urban landscapes and two images of water sites. The Stata Center, designed by renowned Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, is a whimsical mesh of modern and quirky, with shiny tilting towers and angled walls. The title of David’s exhibit arose when he noticed that the unconventional windows Gehry gave to the buildings were a keynote feature of his images.
When viewing these large photos, visitors to the gallery might consider taking some time to study each image, printed on metallic paper and mounted with an acrylic face. David chose this way to display his images because he says “the gentle reflective quality of the paper is like magic, often turning pedestrian views into active and dynamic scenes. Sort of an eerie glow that sends a subliminal message.”
An example of a possible message conveyed by one of David’s images might be seen in Windows. David suggests that if that piece were a person, “it might be an undertaker—dark and repetitive, yet speckled with reminders of life gone by.”
When David photographs, he takes dozens of images of the same subject at once and then puts them together in Photoshop “to make one big blob.” David explains that he then crops dozens of times, examining what degree of resolution appears in each part of the picture and what colors, including the original ones, each image ought to be. He says, “When you change a particular file into something much different, it feels very dramatic, but it is not always a permanent feeling.” He has to wait days, then weeks, or even months before he returns to the image to see what new feelings appear.
David’s background as an English professor has an impact on his photography. He says he “assembles images the way he assembles academic treatises: a constant dialectic between the details and the overall feel or vision of a treatise. When details are adjusted, the whole changes. If the whole changes, the details need to be adjusted.” He says that it is sort of like being a separate individual and a socially connected person at once. The title of one of David’s books, The Double Perspective, names this condition, with special focus on the use of language.
Sometimes David’s images evoke various emotions. When he looks at The Glasshouse, the image makes him feel inside and outside at once. He says “if the image were a body, its white center is gastrointestinal, but glance a bit to the left and you see you are outside.”
In addition to the images of windows, David’s exhibit also includes pictures of urban landscapes and water sites. When viewing The Falls, one can almost hear the rushing water. The sound of falling water always wins with David. He explains “Like the cosmic hiss picked up by astronomers, who claim they have measured back to the start of the universe; the roaring falls keeps us on earth, which is much more exciting than the origin of the universe.”
David has visited the falls maybe 50 times. He says that no photo can bring the Falls to you, “but you can make the photo show a moment of turbulence that urges further experience of the Falls.”
David points out “similarly with the buildings of the Stata Center, whose beauty and drama do not stand out when you first see the buildings; once you make changes in the colors and exaggerations of the lines and angles, you get it.”
When visitors view David’s exhibit, he hopes that each image reflects a combination of changes in real things that point up to the drama and beauty of viewing the real thing.
To view David’s website, click here: https://signsoflight.net/gallery-2023/
If you have a question or comment about David’s photography, please type it in the comment section below.