The wrinkle of an aging hand; the piercing eyes of a young girl at the edge of puberty; the solitude of a young man resting his head along the water’s edge — these are some of the quiet moments captured by Gary Briechle, who makes Collodion wet-plate enlargements of his family, friends and strangers in the small towns and rugged terrain that hug the Maine coast. With great patience and care, Briechle photographs the details that make us unique, celebrating the beauty and imperfections of the human form. These are luscious photographs made with a 19th century process which forces an intimacy between the photographer and subject, to which the viewer is a privileged witness.
Here’s how Gary describes his relationship with his subjects in his forthcoming book with Twin Palms Press:
“I’ve been in Maine close to eight years now and there are some people I’ve photographed for the entire time. A few have died and I’ve shot their likenesses tattooed on the chests of those they’ve left behind.”
“The last time I photographed Arizona (an eight year-old girl that I’ve been photographing since she was one) I did what I always do: I taped a black Wal-mart sheet to the house, set the camera up on the tripod and got her to lean back with shoulders touching to steady herself. I usually put a little flower by the lens, so she can fix her eyes on something during the fifteen-second exposure. This time, the end of October, it was a small, bright, red leaf. A minute later, as I poured fixer over the glass, an image appeared out of a swirl of watery blue-green. Even though I had done this countless times before, what I saw was an image I never saw before.”
Please join us for the opening reception on November 4th from 5:00 – 7:00pm (artist will be present).
Gary Briechle: Photographs
November 4 through December 31, 2011
All images are 11 x 14″ gelatin silver print made from a Collodian wet plate.
For more information and to see additional images visit CEG’s website.