Introducing The Chicago Project Artist, Dan Herman!

We are excited to introduce The Chicago Project Artist, Dan Herman!

Dan Herman is a photographer and artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Born in Bayreuth, Germany in 1980, he relocated to St. Louis, Missouri with his parents in 1984. He first began photographing while serving as a volunteer firefighter in rural Gerald, Missouri. In December of 2012, Dan graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago  with  a  BA  in  Photography.  In addition  to  exhibiting  at  the  Hokin  Honors Exhibition in 2011, he has won top awards from student shows at both Columbia College Chicago and East Central College in Union, Missouri. Dan’s latest work, [Re]Photography, explores the idea of using photography as a means of mark­making and using the camera and subsequent photographic print as tools for drawing.

Take a look at Dan Herman’s Wall Study No.1, November, 2012; April, 2013 in the making:

Wall Study No.1, November, 2012; April, 2013 © Dan Herman
Wall Study No.1, November, 2012; April, 2013 © Dan Herman


[Re]Photography explores the notion of utilizing photography as a means of mark-making to create compositions more akin to drawing or painting than that of traditional methods of the photographic medium. Pieces in this series are made up of a succession of translucent velum prints mounted onto canvas. Photography itself serves as the integral means of constructing each piece by either photographing a blank canvas in the setting it rests in, or by digitally compositing the blank canvas over a “traditional” image. The resulting image is then printed and mounted to the previously mentioned canvas, re-photographed, and repeated over several generations; the camera and subsequent print therefore become the tools for mark-making.

Intuitively responding to the previously placed components, each print builds a formalist relationship between various compositional elements. The work explores a chronological documentation of mark-making upon the composition by embracing the camera’s ability to render fine detail and compartmentalizing each generation of print into the frame of the next. Additionally, the translucency of the material adds to the record by exposing the visual foundation each component is built on. Each finished piece intends to emulate elements within the visual vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism, Formalism, and Minimalism while responding to issues throughout photography’s past—namely Pictorialism, photo-montaging, and essays highlighting ideas throughout the medium’s history.

Behind the scenes © Dan Herman
In the making: North Avenue Beach (March 27, 2013); March, 2013 © Dan Herman
North Avenue Beach (March 27, 2013); March, 2013 © Dan Herman

Select images from Dan Herman’s [Re]Photography series are on view in our current exhibition, The Chicago Project VI: Selections from our Online Gallery running through August 29th.