Lot 47: John Opera

Forms II
Cyanotype on stretched linen
21 x 27 inches
Edition 1 plus 2 AP
Signed verso ink
Courtesy of the artist
Fair Market Value

BIO: In his photo-based work, John Opera combines a deep interest in the visual characteristics of natural and scientific phenomena with a rigorous experimental approach to the techniques and apparatuses by which photographs have been defined and produced. Opera often returns to antiquated but by no means exhausted photographic tools and processes, including pinhole imaging, and more recently the cyanotype and anthotype. He earned his BFA from SUNY New Paltz (1998) and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005). Opera is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at University at Bu alo, SUNY.

STATEMENT: A balance of photographic allegory and autobiography, the subjects of the cyanotypes are generic in their selection yet targeted in their specific city. The references are broad and varied melted venetian blinds, telescopic pinhole views of the sun, ropes, hands, fossils, and more recently, elongated marks created by placing a fluorescent tube light in direct contact with the surface of the linen. The lack of strict categories within the collection of subjects reflects the ontological state of the pieces themselves: they are not exactly photographs and not exactly paintings, although their appearance and physical presence owe much to both photographic space and the less stringent qualities of painting space. The collection of subjects functions as a set of broad signifiers for the generic human experience, while also remaining mysteriously personal in its conceptual associations.

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