Arts & Culture

Artist of the Month: Jerry Uelsmann

By Connie Clarkson

As many artists know, the world is always changing, there are so many different forms of art
being created, photography, graphic design, film, and painting are just a few of the common
forms. This leads me to think about American photographer, Jerry Uelsmann, Uelsmann makes
beautiful compositions using film negatives and darkroom techniques. These surrealists
compositions are unique in form and in meaning. For those of you who don’t know about the
Surrealism movement, it’s known for its visual artworks and writings and the juxtaposition of
uncommon imagery. In addition, Uelsmann has created many black and white pieces of his
surrealist mono photography. Now, You might not see much at first glance when you see his
work, but his work has been known to make people do a double-take, and look closer, and think
deeper. Imagine a hand, holding the ocean and a small rowboat in its palms, hard to imagine
right? Well, Uelsmann visualized it. In an interview with Uelsmann, he said that he doesn’t do it
on purpose when creating a unique photo, people simply look inwards and find deep spiritual
meaning in his work. When seeing his work, it made me think about the simplicity of how two
singular images topped or merged over each other can create a powerful image, that’s especially
in black and white. There’s something to be said about his work in the black and white medium,
the hues of grey and whites create an honest, raw impression.

I discovered the artist and his work recently, even though he’s been around longer than me, haha!
In our day in age, technology has encompassed our lives, and for some, it is our lives, art
programs such as Adobe, have given us a new way to make art and to manipulate the world we

see in photographs, magazines, films, and social media. His work with film negatives and
technique of the darkroom adds an intriguing aspect of how he makes his prints.
Reviewing Uelsmann’s work refreshed my view of art, and the different forms it comes in, color
is commonly used in our everyday lives, but black and white is a reminder of what we then
called art. Like I said before, art comes in all shapes, forms, and colors, every day we are
creating new waves of art, and its always changing, and challenging us in our beliefs and
perspectives of what the world is.

Check out Jerry Uelsmann’s art at https://www.uelsmann.net/

Jerry Uelsmann (born 1934) Untitled, 1966

Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled, 1982
Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled, 1982

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