December 1–31, 2010
Opening: Friday Dec 3, 6-8pm
Taylor Bercier Fine Art
233 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Thur -Mon 11am-5:30pm
My love of stories goes all the way back to childhood when I discovered a book entitled 101 Fairy Tales in an old steamer trunk in my grandmother’s attic. The pale blue cover was nibbled with flaking and tarnished gold leaf, and had on its cover a picture of a turbaned boy on a magic carpet. I sat in dusty, humid silence, amongst the jaundiced communion gowns and mildewed lettres d’amour, reading by the second hand light of the attic window, enchanted by the riotous jewel-like illustrations of the foxed and dog-eared pages. I suppose I became an artist on that boring Saturday afternoon in that attic, and have sought ever since to evince in the viewer that same sense of wonder and adventure that I felt when looking in that book, albeit tempered by the lusts and losses of adulthood.
I think of the images I create, and the stories I write to accompany them, as my own interpretations of the fables and tales I have devoured throughout my life; from The Little Matchstick Girl to the Epic of Gilgamesh. The worlds I create are inhabited by the same archetypical characters that writers like the Brothers Grimm and Joseph Campbell have illuminated and have for centuries served to describe the human experience; all at once profane, tragi-comical, and dogged by existential dread. My heroes and heroines go about their often futile tasks in analog of our own modern lives, mired in tedium and mendacity, symbolically mocking our own real world endeavors but acting with an enviable perseverance. Implicit in my work is an invitation to the viewer to experience nothing less than wonder, awe, or a vaudevillian transcendence above the tedium of daily life. And it would be nice if they got a little bruised on the way.
The nature of my work, though primarily photographic, is heavily composed and manipulated digitally. I work with large format, medium format, and high resolution 35mm digital cameras, and using various software applications I composite my subjects into worlds that are almost purely synthetic, being composed of multiple photographs and digital renderings. The method of working in this way, of having art exist in ether of binary numbers, is complementary to the ephemeral nature of the images themselves. I find it almost enchanting that my work exists in a state of quivering potentia, swirling somewhere in a sparkling electric reservoir, waiting to be brought into the light of day.
Jamie Baldridge was born to two hominids in 1975 in a very small town in the Deep South of the United States. Much of his childhood was spent in Catholic tedium. After years studying Theology and Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, Jamie somehow received a BFA in Photography. After which he went on to work a string of odd, very odd, photographic jobs before receiving his MFA in Photography from the same fine institution. He is currently a Professor of Photography at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His work and writings can be found in many collections such as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Rare Books Collection of the Library of Congress, Cornell University, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, The University of Notre Dame, The University of Colorado at Boulder, the Rhode Island Institute of Technology, McNeese University’s Abercrombie Collection, as well as numerous private collections. His first book, the Lucie Award winning The Everywhere Chronicles, was released by 21st Editions in 2008.
Baldridge currently resides in Lafayette, Louisiana where he divides his time between making art, teaching, traveling, and writing.