Artist Statement

Throughout my 50 year career as a photographer and photo educator I have experienced the technological and artistic changes that have transformed the medium in a personal way. My interest began in the 1960’s with a simple box camera, developing kit and a contact printer, employed in the darkest corner of the basement in my house in Queens, NY. An exhibit of the work of Harry Callahan, at the Hallmark Gallery in NYC, made a lasting impression that profoundly influenced my understanding of the power of photography to communicate and convey a personal vision. I remain convinced that the pursuit of a unique way to see the world can best be demonstrated through the collective body of a photographer’s work, which I have pursued through my career as an artist and educator.

This pursuit has followed a path that reflects the artistic concerns and currents that shaped the aesthetic evolution and technology of the medium during the 1970’s. Whether working in black and white or color, specific visual ideas and constructs reveal themselves both directly and indirectly at times. They include a concern for what I consider the social landscape - the manner in which people appear and alter the spaces they inhabit. I have focused, as well, on the ability of the photographic image to convey or suggest a narrative that is open to individual interpretation. Relying on intuition I seek to enable the viewer to experience a moment in time, to look past the impact of color, scale and form, to extract meaning that is implied or disguised. I continue to be fascinated by the ability of the photograph to capture nuance and detail, and information unavailable in other art forms, to facilitate an experience both visceral and cerebral.


Arthur Nager