Brenda Biondo is a photographer whose work focuses on three distinct areas: constructed abstractions, conservation, and land-based issues, and the way cultural artifacts move from the past into the present. Brenda’s work has been exhibited in shows throughout the country and published in numerous print and online publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Denver Post, and Lenscratch. Her photographs are in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Museum of Art, and numerous corporations and private collectors. A solo exhibit of her work opened at the San Diego Museum of Art in 2017. Her book of photographs, Once Upon a Playground, was published by the University Press of New England in 2014 and is now the subject of a five-year traveling exhibit organized by ExhibitsUSA. The daughter of a NYC commercial photographer/art director, Brenda grew up surrounded by photography and has been making photographs for more than 30 years. Before beginning her third career as a fine art photographer, Brenda worked for a decade in corporate and non-profit communications in NYC and Washington DC, and then spent nine years as a freelance writer specializing in environmental issues. A native New Yorker, she’s been a resident of Colorado since 1999 and currently lives in the small town of Manitou Springs, where the light and landscape continue to inspire her work.
Paper Skies / Moving Pictures
The submitted images are from two related series of work that focus on atmospheric light and color, putting the most ubiquitous of subjects — the sky — into unconventional contexts to create illusions that confront expectations. Produced using simple processes relying on traditional camera techniques, the work explores the role traditional photography can still play in creating new visions of common subjects, while challenging viewers’ perception of color and three-dimensional space.
All images in the series “Paper Skies” and “Moving Pictures” are created by re-photographing a folded and/or cut print of a sky image (grey clouds, blue sky or sunset close-up) in front of actual sky. There is no post-production manipulation. In “Paper Skies,” the juxtaposition of the print against the actual sky creates an abstract image that emphasizes the ambiguity between the real and the reproduced, and allows the original printed photograph to be seen in a new context as a three-dimensional geometric form. The paper on which the original image is printed transcends its role as simply a substrate for photographic imagery and becomes an active ingredient whose edges, texture and shape play a key role in the final image.
“Moving Pictures” also looks at the photograph as object, but this time as an object in motion interacting with its environment over time and, in the process, literally blurring the line between what is real and what is reproduced. The images are created by quickly moving a folded and/or cut printed sky image while it is being re-photographed outside. The half-second exposure time generates amalgams in which the printed sky and the actual sky are merged, blending colors and shadows and revealing a synthesis that cannot be seen with the naked eye. De-emphasizing the materiality of the original printed image by using motion to blur edges and textures also focuses greater attention on color and the quality of light.
Inspiration for the concepts and aesthetics of both series comes from a number of sources, both in photography and other media — from Ellsworth Kelly’s abstract paintings and James Turrell’s skyspaces, to Josef Albers’ emphasis on the context of color and Barbara Kasten’s use of light and shadow to change the perception of two- and three-dimensional space.
To view more of Brenda Biondo’s work please visit her website.