Behind the Scenes and Inside the Artist Studio with Clarissa Bonet

We’ve received a lot of questions recently about where and how Clarissa Bonet makes the photographs included in her first solo show, City Space + Stray Light. She describes her process in her Artist Talk and in several interviews recently published (Lensculture, Chicago Magazine, Lenscratch, Aint Bad, Dodho). We decided to show you Clarissa’s process using behind the scene photos. We follow her from photographing a new image to making a final print in her studio.

Clarissa begins each photograph for her City Space series by walking around Chicago for hours. She records her experiences with an iPhone and takes notes about the buildings, light and pedestrians. She then uses her notes to recreate dramatic moments and experiences with hired models. The final photographs are carefully staged memories that appear to be snapshots of every day life in the city.

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Clarissa on the streets of Chicago making new images for her ongoing series City Space

In her Stray Light series, Clarissa shoots in several different cities at night (Chicago, NY and LA). Each image contains an array of glowing windows.

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Clarissa shooting in LA. Photo © Luis Bueno
Clarissa shooting in NYC Photo © Luis Bueno
Clarissa shooting in NYC Photo © Luis Bueno

The work continues next in her studio. Clarissa scans her negatives for City Space and begins creating test prints.

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Clarissa scanning negatives
Clarissa creating test prints
Clarissa creating test prints

And now that she is back in the studio, the Stray Light images are ready to be created! Each image contains many windows and lights that are the source materials for new photographs. Clarissa isolates and saves each window or light separately, creating a large archive of images from one city. She then spends many hours layering these images together to create her own constellation of windows. Once completed, she begins the process of printing each image.

Clarissa selecting and archiving windows
Clarissa selecting and archiving windows
2016_studio_clarissabonet Clarissa spends hours on the computer editing files.
Clarissa spends hours on the computer editing files.
No matter how much time Clarissa spends with an image on the computer, she still prints it several times before she considers it complete.

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Clarissa printing new images and viewing the prints on the wall in her studio
You can see all of Clarissa’s work on our website, and they are even better in person! Her show is on view at the gallery until October 29!

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