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Category: Nature

Steven Duede: Evanescence

Artist’s Statement:

Excerpts from a broader essay regarding my process and the Evanescence Series.

This series, Evanescence, has been and is being shot almost exclusively in my own compost bin that is shared in the community. This means that I’ve a subject that is constantly in flux. The subjects are always changing, decaying growing. I’ll never know what I may find in the bin. The colors textures are transforming each and every day and depending on weather conditions and its contents can be quite dramatic.

When working with my subjects for this series I’ll begin shooting and return again and again over time shooting basically from only a couple of different angles. Once I’ve shot numerous images I’ll review the dozens of images captured over time to select or cull out those that I feel are the most impressive to use in the series. This can be a very time consuming process. Working this way allows my imagination to flow freely and often times concedes interesting accidental forms and visual rhythmic incidents to appear in the work.

The images also reflect my continued interest in images that can be beautiful; images that are chaotic, from natural elements and that also evoke something less obviously lovely. Flowers and natural things are marvels of beauty and obviously flora is a big subject in my work juxtaposed, alongside elements of the ugly, the degraded. These elements bring to mind thinking about the contrast of the lovely and the less than beautiful. We can see the decomposition of natural compositions. Thoughts about mortality and vitality can arise from participating in these sorts of themes and that thoughtful imagery abounds for me in my own creative process.

I’d mentioned the title of this series is Evanescence. This is the act of something slowly transforming into a gas or a vapor. This series reflects this notion of decay and rebirth of transition and transformation. When working with these subjects I’m always reminded that these photographs are indeed transitory. I can never shoot the same photo in that narrow space ever again. The subjects are gone, turned to composted soil and vapor, truly evanescent and forever transformed.

Artist’s Bio:

A lifelong artist, transitioning from painting and mixed media in the mid 2000’s to working exclusively in photography Steven Duede brings a sense of painting to his use of the camera. The influence of painting in much of the photographic work cannot be understated. Originally from the mid-western USA Steven has been living and working in the Boston Massachusetts area since 2001. With a work history in museum operations, academic administration as well as consulting and design for museums, galleries and arts non profits he carries his attachment to the creative process to all work. Having studied painting, printmaking and photography at the Kansas City Art Institute, then becoming an entrepreneur, for a time owning and operating a small music shop and gallery, Steven has devoted much of life to making art and working in creative environments.