Negative Exposure posits the silver gelatin print as a canvas for the creation of painterly photographs. It unveils the darkroom artistry of Randy Grskovic and Wil Murray by divulging their tactile treatment of the photographic negative, highlighting process over object. Both artists physically intervene with black-and-white film negatives by manipulating subject matter and extending the interpretation of the image with additional layers of meaning.
Grskovic is a photographer with a painterly disposition. He “dodges and burns” in the darkroom, cutting and splicing found negatives with scotch tape to produce inimitable collage juxtapositions. By problematizing representation and making its process transparent, he establishes a dialogue between what is considered real and one’s propensity to idealize that reality.
Murray, a painter with a newfound yen for photography, uses analogue photography to document idyllic natural vistas. Using photographic oils, he paints directly onto the surface of the negative and tints the silver gelatin print, working interchangeably between original plates and large-format reproductions.