Rose with Nails for Petals - PhMuseum

Rose with Nails for Petals

Sarah Palmer

2016 - Ongoing

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Rose with Nails for Petals begins with photographs of women (vernacular nudes, portraits, catalog images, photographs from self defense and dance kinesiology books, images from the New York Public Library picture collection and digital archive, and from the Library of Congress archive) and textures (curtains, rugs, beds, often digitally manipulated). I place these in chaotic juxtapositions, with the figures in surreal, reimagined contexts. A dance of flatness and depth flows through this work, as the dimensionality expands and finally contracts back into the tight picture plane.

I am continually printing, rephotographing, and modifying. I lay images together on the studio floor or on large magnetic walls. Holes cut into images allow some pictures to become apertures and others to recede. I use gridded strobes to create dense shadows, and color gels and handmade cuculoris shapes to create areas of color and shadow. These elements give the photographs a deceptive depth – they are flat and yet pieces appear to rise from the photograph's substrate. Throughout the process I photograph and print, manipulate, re-photograph and re-print, with prints become part of the assemblage, sometimes in several iterations.

My work resists the inherent truthfulness and grounded representationality of photography while remaining rooted in the lens, the camera, and the photographic process, as well as the medium’s history and varied modes. Additionally, there are crucial connections between my work and poetry, most recently, of H.D., Robert Duncan, and Emily Dickinson. I often think about the “textual” aspects of images and the way images, like language, create veins of communication and conversation.

This work is not meant to be easy, either conceptually or aesthetically. It communicates its subjects and its subjectivity indirectly, without an obvious point of view. I resist my own strong opinions and the pointedness of my world critique to allow the work to exist in a more ambiguous, un-didactic space. It is my hope that, like that of the poets and artists with whom my practice converses, my work will transcend the immediate and the fleeting and speak to essential themes of memory, death, collapse, rebirth, fear, and the erotic, as well as the long history of feminist art and cultural critique, as it ultimately presents itself to the world, on its own, without me.

Final photographs are shot on 4x5 negative or digital. The prints vary in size and in medium, including large pigmented inkjet prints on Habotai silk and dye-sublimation prints on aluminum, as well as a series of handmade and digital offset artist books.

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  • A Boundless Place, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 40” tall x 32” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise images from catalogs and books, scraps of pigmented inkjet prints on Habotai silk, and a digitally composited photographic background.

  • The Narrow Round, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 22.5” tall x 15” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot with a digital camera. Photographic materials comprise a World War II photograph of a woman painting an airplane, 3 stones, and digitally manipulated photographs from catalogs.

  • The Broken Word, 2018. This work exists as a pigmented inkjet print on Habotai silk, 50” tall x 62.5” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise photos from the NYPL picture collection, catalog images, and scraps of inkjet-printed Habotai silk.

  • A Whip, So Small, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise found photos, a catalog photo, and a piece of printed fabric.

  • Woman Scaled, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 20” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot with a digital camera. Photographic materials comprise a digitally created photographic background, a stone, a manipulated image from a catalog, and a photo torn from a newspaper.

  • Epistrophe (Pink), 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 22.5” tall x 15.5” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot with a digital camera. Photographic materials comprise found Polaroids, a photograph of mine, and found images from catalogs.

  • Indelible Laughter, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot with a digital camera. The photograph was made in one day, while listening to the Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearing. Photographed materials comprise a series of receding photos.

  • The Hours Are Ours, 2019. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 20” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot with a digital camera. Photographed materials comprise pigmented inkjet prints on Habotai silk, a catalog image, and a digitally manipulated photographic background.

  • Light Passes, 2016. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise a my own photograph and small cut-out dots of other photographic prints.

  • Huntress, 2016. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 20” tall x 16” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise a re-photographed, manipulated and torn image from a magazine and a painted background.

  • Ancient Questions, 2016. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise a found photograph, a catalog image, and a digitally manipulated background.

  • In the White Blaze, 2016. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise a found photograph, a marbled endpaper of a book, and a photograph from a magazine.

  • That Which Is and That Which Was, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise my own and found photographs and catalog images.

  • The Twice-Born, 2019. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original photograph was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise colored gels, colored vellum, a digitally accessed NYPL rare book, photographs, catalog images, and newsprint.

  • Continents of Summer, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 40” tall x 32” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise a found photo, photos from catalogs, color gels, artist tape, and a scrap of inkjet print on Habotai silk.

  • A World Swarmed with Sorcerers, 2018. This work exists as a pigmented inkjet print on Habotai silk, 50” tall x 62.5” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise photos from the NYPL picture collection, catalog images, and scraps of inkjet-printed Habotai silk.

  • The Riddle of Written Stone, 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 30” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise my own and found photographs and catalog images..

  • The Dancing Tree, 2019. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 20” tall x 16” wide, in an edition of 3. The original photograph was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise painted wood, colored gels, and photographic prints.

  • The Mask of Sleep, 2019. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 32.5” tall x 24” wide, in an edition of 3. The original photograph was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise colored transparent prints, photographs, book pages, and a digitally manipulated background.

  • Forgotten Night (False/Faithless), 2018. This work exists as a dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 40” tall x 32” wide, in an edition of 3. The original was shot on 4” x 5” color negative and scanned with a Hasselblad Flexcolor scanner. Photographed materials comprise images from catalogs and books, and scraps of pigmented inkjet prints on Habotai silk.


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