this is [not] a photograph

b. 1951 Hartford, Connecticut

James Welling's Mystery Photographs series offers images of abstract forms both mysterious and fleeting. This work continues the exploration of an earlier series, New Abstractions, in which the artist threw strips of Bristol board, cut to various widths, onto sheets of 20 x 25-inch photo paper. The negative prints were scanned and digital files were used to output high-contrast negatives, which were then projected to make the prints, thereby reversing the tonalities. In his latest series, however, Welling abandons the stark contrast of black and white for a more monochrome, less defined and contrasting image.

From 1969 to 1971, Welling attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California in 1974. Currently, the artist resides both in New York and Los Angeles.

Artwork from top to bottom:

Mystery Photograph #2, 2000
unique chromogenic paper

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