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Black, White and Pure Color

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Fruit of Life and Death, photogram by Emily MillerFruit of Life and Death, pink red photography by Emily MillerFruit of Life and Death, 8″ x 8″ photogram and digital image ©2017 Emily Miller

Last week I took a huge step away from my typical photogram process by adding bright, abstract color to the stark black-and-white series. I love the mysterious quality of the photogram’s x-ray vision, but I missed the rainbow of colors I was seeing while working with different species. Using color as a subject in my recent encaustic paintings opened the door for me to experiment here with fully abstract frames of pure, juicy color.

I’ve added 8 new fruit & veg to the photogram project over the past few months. The visual study of natural structure and intention has become intertwined with human history, mythology and perception as I research the fossil record and folklore of each species in search of a title.

Cynara - photogram by Emily MillerCynara 1, 8″ x 8″ photogram ©2017 Emily Miller

My greatest interest lies at the intersection of human and non-human intention. This is why I chose to focus on fruit and vegetables – each is bursting with its own innate purpose to grow and succeed, and each has been integral to our own survival. How have we changed them over the millenia, and how have they changed us?

Wolf Peach (cultivar) photogram by Emily MillerWolf Peach (cultivar), 11″ x 14″ photogram ©2017 Emily Miller

The abstract quality of the photograms and color studies removes familiarity while retaining a form of truth, allowing us to examine each species eye to eye without the easy dismissal of naming and knowing. Studying the incredible symmetry and intricate detail of each structure reveals that form has followed function to make a world of useful and beautiful things. We are one.

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