Jehsong Baak
Korean-American, born 1967

Jehsong Baak’s photography has an autobiographical inflection—he works using his immediate environment and the people in his life as subjects. Early in his career, Baak saw Federico Fellini’s film (1963), and was taken with the director’s dark aesthetic and use of dramatic lighting. These same traits became prominent in Baak’s photography, which is also characterized by a use of high contrast—a style that critics have compared to Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. Many of Baak’s photographs play with transparency, reflection, superimposed images, and abstraction. In addition, he is known for producing his gelatin silver prints in only two large-format sizes: 16 by 20 inches, and 20 by 24 inches. Baak identifies Jon Rush (his drawing teacher), Robert Frank, and Josef Koudelka as three instrumental figures in the development of his style.

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