Matthew Brandt Approach to Photography Essay

Matthew Brandt's work builds on the work of generations of landscape photographers and the history of the photographic process. He makes pictures using the physical matter of the subject in the development process, creating one-of-a-kind prints with methods that make it nearly impossible to create duplicates.

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Matthew Brandt has a more structured approach than the average Instagram user, who is delighted to take a photo, share it with the world, and move on to the next objective. The artist labors over the production of his images, turning the creation of his work into grueling physical labor by utilizing long-forgotten techniques acquired from the earliest photographers in the tradition of photography, making his works entirely photographic.

The artist deconstructs the traditional landscape photography genre while also eulogizing it through unorthodox treatment and material choices (Barnard 300). To create unique compositions that use the medium in experimental ways, Matthew Brandt’s works combine subject and material by incorporating actual materials from the sources he is depicting. Matthew generates unique prints by incorporating the fundamental subject matter during the developing process and employing techniques that make it nearly impossible to produce a duplicate (Price and Wells 70). Matthew in his Taste Tests series collections of American landscapes specifically the Yosemite’s Vernal Falls, creates reciprocal ties between his topics and the materials used to represent them. Ethereal, transparent color layers and strong line work are features of Mathew Brandt’s work.

Taste tests in color are a new incarnation of Brandt’s preceding monochromatic series taste tests, in which the artist silk-screened stunning pictures of American landscapes using ketchup or mole sauce as ink rather than customary ink. By reproducing the hues commonly seen in CMYK or RGB color, the artist transforms the image of Yosemite’s Vernal Falls into a series of multi-layered prints made permanent by food or household items like toothpaste, kool-aid, ignoramus candies, or medical tablets (Herman 30). The artist generates a variety of tonalities across several impressions of a single image through color separation. Each image has its unique topography thanks to its blistering and undulating surfaces, which gives his work a photographic quality. Additionally, viewing takes on a tactile, multisensory, throbbing experience for the observer. Brandt’s work can be categorized as photographic since he connects subjects and material and uses the senses to provide meaning to his works.

In Matthew Brandt’s work, nature is captured by art and preserved as an aesthetic trophy in a museum, gallery, or the home of a wealthy patron, much like an exotic animal’s stuffed head. Surrealism and expressionism are beautifully blended in Brandt’s taste series. The color variations remind viewers of action painters (Seppänen 119). The link he makes between abstract expressionism and his images is not just one of aesthetics; it is also pretty apparent in the photography process’s importance to the creation of his photographic works (Samuel 451). Brandt’s work has a photographic quality due to the textural richness that gives painting textures an aggressive, confrontational presence and an introspective, thoughtful approach (Yacavone 319). As he constantly aims to connect the medium with the subject in art, Brandt’s approach is not only a novel manner of producing artworks but also highly conceptual, granting his creations the right to be referred to as photographic.

Although Brandt’s style verges on the gimmicky, his works don’t rely on comprehending how they were made on the inside. Instead, the technique permeates the works’ very nature, giving them an unfathomable strangeness. Brandt creates unsettlingly strange images of nature in the taste series through a method that might be considered organic or even strangely incestuous (Szeman and Whiteman 552). With his use of mixed-media works and various artistic techniques, Matthew Brandt’s photographic discipline alone provides many opportunities for engaging the senses. He always strives to link the medium with the subject in art, which is what photography is all about. As a result, his work is an original style of producing artwork and is highly intellectual.

Works Cited

Barnard, Malcolm. Derrida and Photography Theory. The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory, 2019, pp. 295–308., Web.

Herman, Judith B. Review: Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing PhotographyAfterimage, vol. 43, no. 3, 2018, pp. 30–32., Web.

Price, Derrick, and Liz Wells. Thinking about Photography. Photography, 2021, pp. 11–82., Web.

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