This exhibition round includes works by David Diodate which will be on view in the First Floor West gallery from January 9 – February 23 2019.
From the artist:
At 21, on the verge of graduating from college and passionate about the history of art, specifically contemporary art, I was offered an opportunity to study in Paris. The ‘catch’ was that I had to do photographic studies while living in ‘The City of Light.’ With little knowledge of the photographic process or its relatively young history, I decided to dive right in and learn all I could about this art form before the summer trip began.
For hours I poured over photography books by classic artists such as Nadar, Steiglitz, and Cameron, eventually progressing to the modern masters like Witkin, Avedon, and Mann. In the midst of this self-study, I came across Doug and Mike Starn, whose work I found immediately inspiring. The Starn’s art grabbed my interest and spoke to me as an artist. The torn photos and random hands-on feel of their work juxtaposed everything else I had seen represented in photo history. Their work to me became almost painterly and I felt inspired by the way they pushed the medium in scale and display. Their work changed my perception of photography, enabling me to use the art form as a medium for my individual interpretations. With the Starn’s work I had inspiration to do photographic work, but what would be my subject matter? While studying in Paris I found my major focus of subject in the vast and beautiful cemeteries. The arcane, haunting beauty of these solemn places was overwhelming and inspiring, initiating my 10-year documentation of cemeteries.
I now am inspired to photograph images that express tranquilly or a secret moment. Many images are inspired by personal moments growing up in the South. The photographs are of mostly rural things, places, or scraps/discard; almost always a chance event. I love the forgotten and weathered decay of any environment; unique objects that resonate a personal history or that I just stumble upon. I also have created a newer body of work photographing old books that contain scribbles, doodles, or writings on the book’s pages.
Photographing with my iPhone or a DSLR, I try not to capture anything technically perfect. I shoot through old things like a magnifying glass then tweak in Photoshop or utilize apps to aid in a mimicked look of age/analog. I also double expose or use multiple layers to create a dream like effect. The physical work is serene and rough almost simultaneously; always allowed to be imperfect. My hope is to express an arcane beauty that dwells within a modern nostalgia. Some of the works becoming fictional scrapbooks; where I combine found text or old photographs within the piece. Ultimately all the pieces are one of a kind testaments to forgotten places which hopefully become portals to a viewer’s memory and past histories.
About the artist:
David Diodate was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. He graduated in 1993 from the University of South Florida with a BFA in art history. In 1993 he moved to Atlanta, GA living and working in commercial photography for 20 years. His current home is in Birmingham, Alabama. Diodate is currently exhibiting with Gallery 1930 in the Mt Brook area of Birmingham.