Buildings covered with plastic fascinate me.
During construction, the plastic provides a barrier from inclement weather. Structures undergoing renovation may be covered to contain materials in the course of asbestos removal or paint application. Buildings can be shrouded during litigation brought about by improper installation of exterior finishes, as well.
In this period of transition, lasting from a few days to many weeks, the mysterious and ethereal character of these structures captivates me. Their ghostly forms glow against charcoal-gray skies, and clouds of white plastic flutter in the wind.
Photographing these temporary sculptures with a 4 X 5 view camera encourages a meditative approach, but can make working in wet, blustery weather quite a challenge. And their transitory nature limits the time I have to obtain permission to photograph, find the perfect camera position, and be ready when the light, weather and wind combine at just the right moment.And as I wait patiently for that moment, with the breeze inflating and deflating the plastic, I get a definite feeling that the building is breathing.
Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1952, Loren Nelson has always been interested in art and photography. He grew up in a family of artists – his father was a commercial artist and his grandmother, a china painter and teacher. Initially fascinated with color landscape photography, he watched his first good quality black and white print emerge in the developer while studying at the Portland Art Museum Art School in the early 70s. Nelson decided at that moment, that this was his purpose in life. In 1972, he picked up a Deardorff view camera, and has been organizing the world on a four by five-inch piece of frosted glass ever since.
Loren counts as his early influences Minor White and Wynn Bullock, and he holds the contemporary photographs of Bruce Barnbaum, Michael Kenna, and John Wimberley in high regard. He states that, “Each demonstrates technical mastery of his craft, astounding print quality, and a deep connection with his subjects” -- qualities Nelson hopes are evident in his work.Nelson’s work has been widely exhibited in the western United States. His photographs are in numerous permanent public and private collections, including IBM, Oregon State University, and The Portland Art Museum. He makes his home in Beaverton, Oregon.
Loren Nelson • Under Wraps
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All images © Loren Nelson. All rights reserved.
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