By Tatiana Belanich
Artist Holly Gordon is using her photography skills to not only capture what’s before her, but also what’s in her mind.
“I see the camera and photography as such a fluid and malleable tool that I can control and use to create whatever is going on in my brain,” she said. Gordon said she captures images with her camera that she then spends hours, days or sometimes weeks transforming into “painterly” images.
A member of FotoFoto Gallery at 14 W Carver St., Huntington village, Gordon is showcasing through July 28 her work in exhibit “Photo-Liminalism,” which is inspired by the “visual bounty” surrounding her and enlivened by the creative process, she said.
“What I am doing is beyond the understanding of most people,” Gordon said.
The exhibit features 14 hand-selected photographs, each taken by Gordon herself, that have been organically transformed, layer by layer, into unique creations.
“I had no idea when I took that what I was going to create, until I started to explore and expand my own creative journey,” she said. “I’m just as surprised as everybody… There was no plan. I just love the process.”
The gallery has given her the freedom to present her work without restrictions or pressure of conformity. She also hopes to bring awareness and regard to a new movement that combats the present threat technology has made to photography.
Her pieces are neither enhanced nor manipulated. “I’m the decider and decision maker,” she said.
Instead, she utilizes tools from software like Photoshop, Nik and Topaz, to create painterly images, while remaining in complete control of the artistic elements. “It’s not replication, it’s invention,” she said. She compares herself to a music conductor. Just as a director calls upon different sections of an orchestra to play, Gordon decides what to highlight and change in each piece.
This new way of art took Gordon years of “thinking and internalizing” to realize.
In 2003, before Gordon joined FotoFoto Gallery, she brought her photographs of Antarctica to a gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan. It was here where a woman remarked on the exquisiteness of her work but asked, “Where is your personal vision?”
“It took me awhile to understand that there is a difference between a beautiful photograph and making art,” she said. “I was reporting on what I saw. Now I’m creating my vision.”
With the “Photo-Liminalism,” each finished piece is accompanied by its original photo. Twelve out of the 14 finished products were inspired by Long Island locations, a few of which were visited with Northport painter Ward Hooper, while the others were inspired by photographs Gordon took in New Jersey and China.
She purposefully doesn’t name each piece according to the location of its photograph because, as she said, “I want to give the viewer the opportunity to go into my work and conjure up their own story.”
Gordon hopes those seeing her work for the first time are awakened and inspired to create.
“People don’t have to go far away to find beauty and excitement and interest — to find visual stimulation,” she said. “All we have to do is open up our eyes and see and be inspired by what we see to create our own personal statement.”
FotoFoto gallery is located at 14 W Carver St., Huntington. For more information about Holly Gordon and her work, visit Hollygordonphotographer.com.