Chemistry Meets Creativity in "Light Sensitive" at Art Intersection in Gilbert

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The exhibition was juried by Robert Hirsch, a New York-based artist, curator, and author. Selected works include not only a wide range of techniques, but also a broad sampling of subject matter and artistic sensibility. Photographs span the spectrum from realism to abstraction. There's a little something for everyone here.

Most of the photographic techniques used by these artists aren't familiar to the smart phone generation, but Art Intersection ups the exhibition's accessibility factor by providing gallery-goers with a booklet that explains various processes such as photogravure, which involves etching a copper plate.

Several of these processes are especially well suited to capturing the exquisite details of human anatomy, including hair and skin.

Marilyn Carren's Big Belly Corona, a gelatin silver print showing the smooth skin of a belly rounded like a ripe cantaloupe, reveals soft layers of fine hair barely visible to the naked eye. Gelatin silver prints, which comprise about one third of "Light Sensitive" works, are what we typically think of as black and white photographs made from negatives.

Christian Klant's Channel, a wet plate collodion tintype of a man's face, reveals a rich landscape of pores punctuated by stubble and the variations within the irises of his subject's eyes. Wet plate collodion tintypes, which were especially popular during Civil Wars times, are created with a chemical process on thin iron plates rather than paper.

Some of the exhibition's most beautiful works highlight the infinite variety of line and texture within plants and other biological materials — including palm trees, hay bales, and bamboo stalks. Best among them is Timothy H. McCoy's Swamp Fever (Parrish Pond, George L. Smith State Park, Georgia), a gold toned albumin print that couples overgrown trees crowded together with their reflection in the water.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble