John Wawrzonek images from The Hidden World of the Nearby
In Lieu of an Artist's Statement
I have written a dozen or so artist's statements, none of which I found satisfactory. I had been working on this website since about 4:30 am. Today (May 11, 2017), at breakfast, I had the thought that I had been trying to articulate a pre-formed vision, and that was not true. What I thought instead is that something was latent in me and that was a love of rich color and detail in nature. I was not aware of this until I saw some dye transfer landscape prints. Dye transfer was a printing process invented in the 1930s and was capable of color and detail unlike any other photographic printing process.
In 1974 I moved from engineering to marketing at Bose and so was exposed to the work of fine studio photographers and large format photography. I borrowed a large format camera and photographed some flowers, had them professionally printed and was stunned by the quality. The only "vision" I had was of a large colorful print, but in retrospect that included the idea that the print would not reveal itself as a photograph by the common short-comings of photography at the time: lack of sharpness and brilliance of color. I also knew I wanted large prints, that in combination with 4" x 5" film would reproduce the textures of nature.
The rest, in a sense, is history. I did not take lessons (I usually recall my father's words: "You can't tell him anything,") but I also knew that I wanted to find my own way in my own way.
I started on mountain tops, wandered through the woods and used (wasted) a great deal of film. There were a few good images but it took seven years for something to click. It eventually turned out that I was attracted to certain kinds of subjects and that led to a few specific places.
The first of these was the Massachusetts Turnpike and I tell that story under the heading "Places."