Portfolio: Martin Kimbell’s ‘Light Paintings’

Many photographers at some point experiment with a light source(s) as a means of mark-making or drawing within the frame of a photograph, ala Picasso’s Centaur (technique actually dates back far earlier – first probably Frank and Lillian Galbreth, 1914); but, for most photographers, it is a quick check-off phase, often arguably unrelated to the primary arc of their development. In contrast, I am always interested to see certain artists take off their coats and stay for awhile.

I largely enjoy Kimbell’s work here. Taken on an aesthetic level some images work better than others. Once one considers the means of production, the associations for me become performative – I quite like thinking about the ritualistic quality of throwing these DIY constructions repeatedly into the frame, suspecting/directing outcomes until the film is processed. And sloppy as it might be not to provide a better explanation, I do see these as more appropriate to or compelling within a film methodology.

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