John Chiara: California

Photographs by John Chiara and John Chiara. Text by Virginia Heckert.

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John Chiara creates his own cameras and chemical processes in order to make unique photographs using the direct exposure of light onto reversal film and paper. Chiara describes his process: “When I’m out shooting, I directly expose the paper, dodge, burn, and filter the light as if I were working in the darkroom.” This compression of the traditional photographic processes into one event, involving the hauling around of huge, handmade cameras and film backs, results in images that are intuitive and performative—and visually stunning. Focusing almost exclusively on landscapes and architecture, each resulting photograph is a singular, luminous object that renders each scene with an almost hallucinatory clarity, deploying surreal shifts of color, light, and skewed perspectives. This book, his first, focuses exclusively on images of Chiara’s native California, including images from his hometown of San Francisco and other locations in Northern California, as well as Los Angeles and along the Pacific Coast. Virginia Heckert’s essay situates Chiara’s work in the long tradition of the landscape of the American West while also discussing his working methods and the contemporary context of this process-driven work.
Copublished by Aperture and Pier 24 Photography.

Details

Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 164
Number of images: 95
Publication date: 2017-11-17
Measurements: 12.87 x 11 x 0.8 inches
ISBN: 9781597114233

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Contributors
Photographs by John Chiara and John Chiara. Text by Virginia Heckert.

John Chiara received a BFA in photography from the University of Utah in 1995 and an MFA in photography from the California College of the Arts in 2004. Chiara was Artist in Residence at Budapest Art Factory (2017); Crown Point Press, San Francisco (2006, 2016); Porch Society, Clarksdale, Mississippi (2013–14); Gallery Four, Baltimore (2010); and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2010). In 2011 and 2013, the Pilara Foundation in San Francisco commissioned work that was included in two group exhibitions at Pier 24 Photography: HERE and A Sense of Place.
John Chiara received a BFA in photography from the University of Utah in 1995 and an MFA in photography from the California College of the Arts in 2004. Chiara was Artist in Residence at Budapest Art Factory (2017); Crown Point Press, San Francisco (2006, 2016); Porch Society, Clarksdale, Mississippi (2013–14); Gallery Four, Baltimore (2010); and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2010). In 2011 and 2013, the Pilara Foundation in San Francisco commissioned work that was included in two group exhibitions at Pier 24 Photography: HERE and A Sense of Place.
Virginia Heckert is photography curator and head of the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; she is the curator of Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography and author of the accompanying catalogue (2015). Her other books include Ed Ruscha and Some Los Angeles Apartments (2013) and Irving Penn: Small Trades (2009), coauthored with Anne Lacoste.

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