Sunday, August 22, 2010

Natalie Cheung

Cheung, S. with Child 1995, 2009

Cheung, Portrait-W 1916-1918, 2009

Natalie Cheung is an exciting young artist from the mid-Atlantic region who uses cameraless photography as her prime means of expression. The chemigrams presented here, from a series called Facsimiles, more of which can be seen on her website, represent for her an investigation into recurring forms and images throughout the history of art; clearly though, they stand up quite well on their own. A bit of method: they are created on Ilford glossy paper, which she cuts to 30x40" from long rolls. Her black-and-white chemistry is from Sprint, whose QuickSilver print developer is PQ-based (phenidone plus hydroquinone), which may have a slight tendency to decrease effective emulsion speed and thus graininess - this is perhaps a topic for research in a chemigram setting, where development times are intermittent and cumulative, and occur in a context of falling pH.

Whatever the case, Natalie's art is bold and arresting. She observes and works closely with random effects, using them freely to further her conception. Indeed, it could be said that what she has done is the most difficult type of chemigram to pull off, the one that relies not on a methodology of resists and schemes but on an intuitive feel for spraying, smearing, dunking and snatching. Natalie is quite skilled at this, and arrives at a wonderful expressiveness. Be sure to check out her other work as well, in photograms, gelatin reliefs (mordançages), and cyanotypes.

1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful work. Natalie has captured some gorgeous images - the chemigrams use of backgrounds (lines ?scratches?) and mottled areas lend an especially interesting aspect to those series. Thanks for sharing her work with us, Doug and Rich.

    Norm Sarachek, Chemigramist in Allentown, PA