Adam Fuss on His Cameraless Images and Experimenting with Live Snakes
Adam Fuss’ unique oversized photograms combine historical process with ethereal subjects and contemporary scale, resulting in stunning works that are timeless in their appeal. Recalling the early experiments with photographic process first championed by Henry Fox Talbot and later by the modernists Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy, over the past 30 years, Fuss has helped usher in a new wave of contemporary photographers who eschew the digital technology that has come to define photography in the 21st century.
By eliminating the camera and reducing photography to its most basic elements of light and sensitized paper, Fuss’ subjects- from water droplets to babies, dresses to snakes- take center stage. Here, Fuss deftly captures smoke as it billows across the surface of the paper, the light eternalizing that which is fleeting.
—Courtesy of Phillips
Overall 98 1/2 x 58 1/4 in. (250.2 x 148 cm)
Signature: Signed, dated and numbered 'AF 3006' in waxed pencil on an artist's label affixed to the reverse of the frame.
Cheim & Read, New York
Photographer Adam Fuss places living and non-living objects, including balloons, flowers, water, babies, animal entrails, and skulls, directly onto Cibachrome paper and exposes them to light, making photograms that explore imperfection, intimacy, nostalgia, and the passage of time. In the 2010 series “Home and the World,” Fuss’s gelatin silver print photograms and large-scale daguerreotypes record groupings of live snakes on stained mattresses and a close up of a vagina. Snakes and Ladders (a Jain morality-teaching tool developed in India during the 16th century), ancient mythology, and the work of social symbolism scholar Carl Schuster all inform Fuss’s poetic imagery.
British, b. 1961, London, United Kingdom, based in New York, New York